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Sir John Franklin. 

(From a litliographed copy of the painting by Ncgelin.) 






II.N., A.D.C. 





bill John Fhankuk, 

(/•rem a litho^t.xphtd iopy of the JkUtftklg (jy ?f^tt&t.i 







RN., A.D.C. 






/^ i^ll 

( I . 


" To live with fame 
The gods allow to many ; but to die 
With equal lustre is a blessing Heaven 
Selects from all the choicest boons of fate, 
And with a sparing hand on few bestows." 

— Glovkb. 

There are few names that have been more prominently 
brought to the notice of students of geographical re- 
search, during the present century, than that of Sir 
John Franklin. It will occur to them as that of a 
skilful sailor, an ardent explorer, an able administrator, 
and above all, as that of a daring and successful Arctic 
navigator. Not only is his name connected with good 
and useful service accomplished in those capacities, and 
more especially with the discovery of those northern 
regions in the exploration of which he eventually sacri- 
ficed his life, but it is also associated at an early period 
of his professional career, with the survey and explora- 
tion of that Greater Britain of the southern hemisphere, 
Australia. Moreover, it was subsequently connected for 
many years with Van Diemen's Land, over which colony 
he ruled with ability, and with a wise forethought for 
its future prosperity and development. 

The history of the life of such a man, one who has 



so deservedly earned for Limself a conspicuous place on 
the list of distinguished explorers in various parts of the 
globe, should not remain untold and practically unknown. 
It is therefore not inappropriate that it should form the 
sul)ject of a biographical sketch, in a series the main 
object of which is to impart geographical information. 

In his exertions to increase our knowledge of geo- 
graphy, especially in those regions whose southern 
limit is bounded by the Arctic circle, Sir John Franklin 
occupies an almost unique position among the numerous 
gallant and able explorers who have both preceded 
and followed him. It is only necessary to glance in a 
superficial way over the published records of Franklin's 
naval career, to be satisfied that he was a man of 
dauntless courage, indomitable energy and perseverance, 
brave and resolute in overcoming difiiculties. He was 
a courageous leader, combining tact and discretion 
with a daring which might almost be considered as 
bordering on rashness ; above all, he possessed a rare 
capacity for encountering, with a cheerful and contented 
spirit, hardships and privations of no ordinary kind. 
He was, in its fullest sense, a bom leader, evincing on 
several occasions a resolute determination and dogged 
inflexibility of purpose, under circumstances and con- 
ditions sufiiciently appalling to test the courage and the 
endurance of the bravest of men. 

To those who have interested themselves in Arctic 
research, the name of Sir John Franklin is of course 
familiar, not only from the discoveries he achieved in 
high latitudes, but also on account of that halo of 
romantic uncertainty which kept his fate, and that of 
his brave companions, enshrouded in mystery for such 
a long time. The numerous expeditions that were de- 
spatched for the purpose of endeavouring to obtain 



information regarding tlie missing ships, also absorbed 
a large share of public interest for many years. 

It is a very safe assertion to make that if it had not 
been for Sir John Franklin, and the exertions that were 
made to ascertain his fate, our knowledge of the North 
Polar regions would be a gieat deal more limited than it is 
at present ; for the fact must not be lost sight of that the 
result of the examination made by the several search ex- 
peditions sent in quest of Sir John and those under his 
command, was the achievement of valuable geographical 
and other scientific results, that would otherwise, in all 
probability, never have been accomplished. It is therefore 
only due to the memory of Sir John Franklin to say that 
to him, directly and indirectly, we owe the discovery and 
exploration of a very large portion of the Arctic basin. 

It is earnestly to be hoped that the work so energetic- 
ally and so ably commenced by Sir John Franklin, and 
for the accomplishment of which he laid down his life, 
may again be resumed, and eventually brought to a 
glorious and successful termination. We shall then be 
able to say, that the lives of Franklin and his gallant 
companions have not been sacrificed in vain, and we 
shall be able to reflect ivith pride on the share, and let 
us hope it will be a large one, that our countrymen have 
had in the successful achievement of this great geogra- 
phical work. 

In the compilation of this volume I have endeavoured 
to introduce, as much as possible, in accordance with 
the expressed wish of my Editors, the personal element, 
and to render it as true and as complete a narrative of 
the life of Sir John Franklin as the materials at my 
disposal would permit. 

The authorities I have been able to refer to, for reli 
able information in connection with his life, have been 



very few, and have been conBned principally to the logs, 
journals, and other documents I was permitted to con- 
sult in the Public Record Office. 

The compilation of the work has, in consequence of 
the nature of my professional duties, occupied me for 
some time, but the dove-tailing together of all the in- 
formation I have succeeded in obtaining, and which has 
reached me in a somewhat piecemeal fashion, has been 
a labour of love, and a task in the execution of which 
I have been deeply interested. Any shortcomings or 
incoherence in the narrative that may strike the critical 
reader will, I hope, be ascribed to the difficulties under 
which I laboured, and to the meagreness of all authentic 
information that has hitherto been published in connec- 
tion with the subject of this memoir. 

I was fortunately successful at the outset in enlisting 
the sympathy of Miss Sophia Cracroft, the talented niece 
of Sir John Franklin, in my undertaking, who most 
kindly placed at my disposal information that I should 
otherwise have been unable to obtain. 

My thanks are also due to Colonel John Barrow, who, 
directly he was made acquainted with the nature of my 
work, most generously afforded me all the assistance 
in his power, and kindly placed at my disposal his col- 
lection of the portraits of Arctic worthies, painted by 
the eminent artist Mr. Stephen Pearce, some of which 
have been photographed and reproduced here as illustra- 
tions. And last, but not least, my grateful thanks are 
due to Sir Leopold M'Clintock, who kindly looked over 
the proofs of my narrative relating to that most successful 
journey of his which definitely cleared up the mystery 
attached to the fate of Sir John Franklin, and who also 
made many valuable suggestions of which I was only too 
glad to avail myself. A. H. M. 















IX. franklin's first LAND JOURNEY — {continued) . .124 

X. franklin's SECOND OVERLAND JOURNEY . . I46 
XI. parry's third expedition — HIS ATTEMPT TO REACH 



XII. fiianklin's last voyage 193 





iavzii 316 



1. Sir John Franklin Frontispiece 

(From a lithographed copy of the painting by Negtlin, kindly 
lent by Mrs. Wills.) 

2. Captain Flinders page 41 

(From a print, 1814.) 

3. Defeat of Admiral Linois by Commodore Dance . . ,,67 

(Fi'om an engraving.) 

4. Sir Edward Parry and Sir George Back . . to face page 154 

(From an engraving 0/ Stephen Pearce's picture of the "Arctic 
Council " in the possession of Colonel John Banow, By 
kind permission of Messrs, Graves.) 

5. Lady Franklin page i6g 

(Fivm a portrait taken at Geneva at the age of 34. Kindly lent 
by Miss Cracroft.) 

6. Thomas Simpson ,, 197 

{Prom a photograph.) 

7. Mr. Henry Grinnell ,, 241 

(From a photograph, kindly lent by Mrs. Jiuxton, by permission 
of Alex. Bassano.), 

8. Captain Sir Robert M'Clure .... to face page 249 

(From a painting by Stephen Pearce. By kind permission qf 
Colonel John Barrow.) 

9. Captain Sir Leopold M'Clintock ... ,, 267 

(From a painting by Sleplun Pearce. By kind permission of 
Colonel John Bairow.) 

10. Facsimile of the ** Last Record " ... ,, 270 

(Ileprodiicid fivm the " Nai-rative of the Discovery of the Fate 
of Sir John Franklin." By kind permission of Mr. John 




Spikby Church . . page 2 
(Prom a photograph.) 

Louth Grammar - school 

(pulled down 1869) . ,, 6 
(From a photograph.) 

Seal of Louth Grammar- 
school . . . ,, 7 

Encampment on Wreck 

Reef . . . ,, 59 
(From a pencil sketch in the jtos- 
session of Captain Markham.) 

Making a Portage round 

Trout Falls . . ,,119 
(From a pencil sketch in the pos- 
session of Captain Markham.) 

Mrs. Franklin . page 144 

(From a painting in the possession 
of, and kindly lent by, the Rev. 
John Philip Ocll.) 

Captain Fitzjames . ,, 202 

(From a picture at the Royal Qeo- 
graphical Society.) 

Graves on Beechcy Island , , 245 

(From the ^'Illustrated Arctic 
News," 1852.) 

Statue of Franklin at 

Spilsby . . . ,, 276 

(From a photograph.) 

MAPS (Printedin Colours). 

1. Australia . to face page 16 

2. Arctic Regions ,, 78 

3. Spitzbergen . „ 96 

4. Arctic America — exhibit- 
ing progress of dis- 
covery . to face page 193 


Franklin's Winter Quarters 1 Map of King William 

— Beechey Island . pa^/c 211 \ Island . . . page 228 





1 786-1801. 

** All my delight on deedea of annes is sett, 
To hunt out perilles and adventures bard, 
By sea, by land, whereso they may be mett, 
Onely for honour and for high regard, 
Without respect of ricbesse or reward." 

— Spensbb. 

Situated on an eminence of the wolds in Lincolnshire, 
and overlooking an extensive tract of fen-land to the 
southward, is the picturesque market-town of Spilsby. 
Plainly visible above the trees and houses, and standing 
out in conspicuous relief against the sky, is seen the 
square tower of its church, surmounted by a pinnacle at 
each of its angles. 

Pretty as is the outside of this little church, the chief 
interest connected with it is centred in the interior, 
where are the tombs of departed worthies, who once 
were powerful in Lincolnshire. On the north side of 
the chancel is the Willoughby Chapel, containing the 





tombs of John, second Lord Willoughby of Eresby, 
who fought at the battle of Cressy ; of John, the third 
Lord, who was at the battle of Poitiers ; of the fourth 
and fifth Lords; of Richard Bertie and his wife, the 
Duchess of Suffolk (who was Baroness Willoughby in 
her own right), and many others. At the west end 


of the church, and facing the south, are three marble 
mural tablets, which are specially interesting to us. 
One has been erected to the memory of Sir Willing- 
ham Franklin, a Judge of the Supreme Court of Judi- 
cature in Madras, who died on the 31st May 1824, 
in the forty- fifth year of his age. Another is to the 
memorj' of Major James Franklin, a distinguished 




officer of the Indian army, and a Fellow of the Royal 
Society, who died on the 31st August 1834, aged fifty- 
one years. The third tablet bears the following inscrip- 
tion : — 

In Memory op Captain Sir 

John Franklin K.C.H. 

K.R.G. D.C.L. 

Born at Spilsby 16 April 1786. 

Erected by his Widow. 

These three men, all of whom attained eminence in 
their several professions, were brothers, sons of Wil- 
lingham and Hanah Franklin. They were born in the 
little town of Spilsby, and all were baptized in that 
same church in which is now briefly recorded the his- 
tory of their lives. ^ 

The time when the Franklin family settled at Spilsby 
has not been accurately ascertained, but that members 
of it must have resided there during the greater part of 
the eighteenth century, engaged probably in mercantile 
pursuits, is evident from an examination of the parish 
register. In 1779 Willingham Franklin, the father of 
the subject of these memoirs, purchased the freehold of 
a small one-storied house, situated in the main street of 
Spilsby, nearly in the centre of the town, and not far 
from the market -cross, which is a plain octagonal shaft 

1 A de8cription of the interior of the church would not be complete 
without allusion to a black board hanging up in the inner porch 
at the west end, on which, in large white letters, is quaintly an- 
nouced that on the 31st December 1786 (the year in which Sir John 
Franklin was born), seven six-bell peala were rung in the church, 
consisting of 5040 changes, in two hours and forty minutes! The 
sturdy villagers who accomplished this feat, which has been con- 
sidered sufficiently worthy of being chronicled, were, we are informed, 
J. and Jo. Haw, G. and J. Houlden, and T. and Bd. Martin. 



1 1 

with a quadrangular base on five steps. This house, in 
which John Franklin was ushered into the world, is 
still in existence, but it is now the property of a coach* 
maker, who is, however, always ready and willing to 
show the little room upstairs in which, it is said, the 
distinguished Arctic Navigator was born. It was sold 
by William Franklin in 1796. It was bought by Lady 
Franklin in about 1873, with the object of using it 
as a museum, in which to exhibit the many articles and 
curiosities collected by her husband, during his long 
and adventurous career in different parts of the globe. 
This laudable intention was, however, frustrated by 
the death of her Ladyship, which event occurred 
before her wishes could be accomplished, and the house 
was then sold to its present occupier. 

The town-hall of Spilsby was built in 1765, but calls 
for no special remark. 

At the west end of the town is a fine avenue which 
leads to the site of Eresby Hall. This charming resi- 
dence was destroyed by fire in about 1768, and has never 
been rebuilt ; it was the seat of the Duke of Ancaster, 
who represented the Willoughby family. 

John Franklin was the youngest son of a large family, 
consisting of four boys and six girls. Nine were bom 
at Spilsby, and their births are duly recorded in the 
parish register. 

Thomas Adams, the eldest son of Willingham Franklin, 
was bom in November 1773. In after years he raised 
a regiment of yeomanry cavalry and was nominated its 
colonel. He died at Spilsby on Oct. 11, 1807. 

Willingham Franklin, the second son, was bom in 
November 1779, ^^^ ^^^ therefore John's senior by 
seven years ; he was educated at Westminster, where he 



got head into College when he was fourteen years of age. 
He was a Scholar of Corpus in 1776; Fellow of Oriel 
in 1801 ; M.A. 1803 ; called to the Bar of the Inner 
Temple, and was made Puisne Judge in the Supremo 
Court of Madras in April 1822. He died of cholera at 
Madras on June i, 1824. 

James Franklin, who was born in May 1783, was also 
a very distinguished man. Educated at Addiscombe, 
he entered the East India Company's service in 1805. 
He served with distinction in the Pindari war, and as 
major of a cavalry regiment was Assistant-Quarter- 
master-Greneral of the Bengal army. He was a very 
accomplished officer, and was employed on important 
surveys. Among others, he surveyed the whole of 
Bandalkhand (181 5-21), and executed a valuable map 
of that region, accompanied by a memoir on its geology. 
His field-books are still preserved at the India Office. 
He was a Fellow of the Royal Society. He died on the 
31st August 1834, aged fifty-one, and was buried in St. 
John's Chapel, Marylebone. 

Isabella, the ninth child, was born on the 12 th 
April 1 79 1, and was married to Thomas Robert Cracroft. 
They had issue Miss Sophia Cracroft, the niece and 
devoted friend and companion of Lady Franklin. 

Henrietta, the youngest daughter, married Mr. 
Richard Wright, and died in 1884, at the advanced 
age of ninety, at Wrangle, near Boston. Her son is 
the present Canon Arthur Wright, Rector of Coningsby, 

John, the youngest of the four sons, was bom on the 
1 6th April 1786, and was baptized two days afterwards 
in the parish church. He was first sent to a prepara- 
tory school at St. Ives, in Huntingdonshire, and subse- 




quently, at the age of twelve, was entered as a scholar 
at the Louth grammar-school. This educational estab- 
lishment bore a very high reputation in the county. 
It was originally founded by Edward VI. in 1552, 
out of the funds of three suppressed guilds, namely, 
those of "Our Blessed Lady," the "Holy Trinity," 
and the "Chantry of St. John of Louth." The 


head-master, when Franklin was admitted, was Dr. 
Orme, to whose memory a monument is erected at the 
east end of the parish church of Louth. He was head- 
master from 1796 to 1 8 14. The boy Franklin must 
have often regarded with admiration the lofty spire of 
this magnificent church, with its delicate tracery and 
exquisite flying buttresses connecting the base of the 
spire with the pinnacles of the tower on which it stands. 



The good people of Louth are deservedly proud of their 
beautiful church. 

The " Lodge," the residence of the head-master, and 
probably the house in which John Franklin boarded, 
was built in 1789, and is very prettily situated within 
a short distance of the school. Although this scho- 
lastic establishment was, as already stated, founded so 


far back as the middle of the sixteenth century, the 
building in which Franklin was educated was only 
erected in 17 10. This was pulled down in 1869, when 
the present school was built. 

John Franklin is not the only boy who, receiving 
the rudiments of education at the old Louth Gram- 
mar School, has distinguished himself in after years; 



for the institution claims as ono of its scholars Alfred 
Tennyson, the Poet Laureate, who was an inmate 
of its walls from 1816 to 18 18. Augustus Hobart, 
more generally known as "Hobart Pacha," who made 
for himself a world-wide reputation as a dashing and 
resourceful officer while employed in the Turkish naval 
service, was also at the school from 1 83 1 until he joined 
the Royal navy in 1834. 

Bom and brought up within ten miles of the coast, 
and almost within sound of that murmuring ocean on 
which he was eventually destined to play such a promi- 
nent part, it is not surpiising that a thirst for adven- 
ture and enterprise took possession of young Franklin. 
Those were stirring times in which the boy's early days 
were passed, rendered all the more fascinating to a youth 
of imaginative temperament, by the exciting events that 
were being enacted in Europe. 

We can well picture to ourselves the feverish excite- 
ment with which the dark-haired, well-knit youth would 
gaze on the ever-heaving billows, and how his bright 
eyes would kindle with enthusiasm and pride, as he 
called to mind the many brave and heroic deeds that 
were being performed by his countrymen on the sea in 
various parts of the world ; it is not, therefore, surprising 
to learn that the wish to become a sailor, and to be per- 
mitted to share in the glorious triumphs of his country- 
men, should take possession of the lad. Naturally 
quick and impulsive, the desire of becoming a sailor, 
was only the forerunner of being one. A story is told 
of the boy — and it has been generally accepted as true 
— that having employed a holiday in an excursion to 
the coast, accompanied by a playmate, he beheld the sea 
for the first time in his life. So impressed was the lad 



with its sublimity, and the prospects it offered as a field 
for future action, that he then and there determined to 
be a sailor. 

Whether it was really this view of the sea, that ho is 
supposed to have seen for the first time, or whether it 
was a dislike to scholastic life at the Louth Qrammar- 
School, whatever the cause, it became very evident to his 
parents that the boy's mind was fully made up, and 
that a sailor's life with all its fascinations and adven- 
tures, was the only one that had any charm for him. 
Life at school became distasteful; the pleasures of 
home had no attraction for him ; he longed to be away 
on that blue sea whose waves dashed their white foam 
and spray along the Lincolnshire coast — away assisting 
in those thrilling events in which our countrymen were 
taking part, and which aroused the enthusiasm of the 
loyal and patriotic burghers of Spilsby, as they received 
the intelligence of some great and glorious naval victory 
— triumphs that paved the way to that maritime supre- 
macy which England has since held and maintained. 

His ardent longing was soon to be gratified, for, 
hoping to cure him of his cravings for a sea-life, his 
parents, who had other intentions regarding the boy's 
future, being desirous he should become a clergyman, 
withdrew him from school, and sent him on board a 
small merchant ship, in which he made a trip to Lisbon 
and back. The eflfect, however, of this voyage, the result 
of which might perhaps be traced to the kindness of the 
captain of the ship, who, it is said, regaled the boy with 
oranges and grapes and treated him with much considera- 
tion, was the reverse of what his friends had anticipated ; 
for, like other illustrious men, like Cook, Nelson, and 
Flinders, he returned more than ever charmed with the 




novelty of a sailor's life, and more than ever bent on 
adopting the sea as a profession. Life, however, in the 
mercantile marine was not to his liking ; it was much 
too tame and quiet ; nothing would satisfy the boy but 
service in one of His Majesty's ships. In the navy 
alone, he thought, he would be aflForded the oppor- 
tunity of sharing in those glorious deeds which formed 
the principal topics of conversation in every town and 
village throughout the country, and which, associated 
with the names of such men as Howe, St. Vincent, and 
Nelson, were adding honour and renown to the English 
nation. This was the height of his boyish ambition j it 
was uppermost in his thoughts by day, and present in 
his dreams by night. 

At length his hopeful anticipations were realised, for 
his friends, yielding to his earnest entreaties, succeeded 
in obtaining for him an appointment as a first-class 
volunteer in H.M.S. Polyphemus, then fitting out at 
Chatham. He joined her on the 9th of March 1800. 
The Polyphemus was a fine two-decked ship, carrying 
sixty-four guns, and was commanded by Captain George 
Lumsdaine. On the ist of May, Rear- Admiral of the 
Blue, Bobert Kingsmill, hoisted his flag on board, and 
on the 13th of June she sailed from the Nore, anchoring 
in Yarmouth Bx>ads the following day, in the immediate 
vicinity of young Franklin's beloved coast of Lincoln- 
shira We can well imagine the pleasure with which the 
Lincolnshire boy entered on his new duties, and how he 
paced the quarter-deck in all the pomp and pride of a 
newly-created naval ofiicer. 

On the ist of August, Captain John Lawford was 
appointed to the Polyphemits, and on the 4th his com- 
mission was read on the quarter-deck, and he assumed 




command. In this ship John Franklin was destined to 
share in one of the hardest-fought sea-battles in which 
the English navy has ever been engaged. 

On the 9th of August the squadron to which the 
Polyphemus was attached, consisting of the Monarch, 
Romney, Ardent, Isia, Glatton, and Veteran, with one 
frigate, two sloops, four bombs, and several gun-vessels, 
in all twenty-six ships, sailed from Yarmouth Eoads, 
and anchored off Elsinore the 20th of the same month. 
The visit of the English fleet to this Danish port was 
intended as a demonstration, but no hostile act was 
committed. The ships remained at anchor oif the 
picturesque castle of Kronberg for about three weeks, 
and then returned to England. The remainder of the 
year was spent by Franklin on board the Polyphemun, 
either at the Nore or at Yarmouth. In the early part 
of 1 80 1, Rear- Admiral of the Blue, Thomas Graves, 
hoisted his flag on board the Polyphemus in succession 
to Rear- Admiral Kingsmill. 

In consequence of the threatening attitude of the 
Northern Powers, necessitating decisive and immediate 
action on the part of the British Government, a large 
squadron, consisting of eighteen line-of-battle ships, in- 
cluding the Polyphemus, with several frigates, corvettes, 
sloops, brigs, bombs, and fire-ships, assembled at Yar- 
mouth under the command of Sir Hyde Parker, whose 
flag was flying on board the ninety -eight- gun ship 
London, with Vice-Admiral Lord Nelson as his second 
in command in the seventy-four-gun ship Elephant. 
This large force left Yarmouth Roads on the 12th of 
March 1801, and passing the batteries at Elsinore with 
but little effective opposition, although a hot fire was 
opened on the ships as they sailed by, came to an anchor 





off the island of Hven on the 30th March, about six 
miles from Copenhagen. 

On the 1st of April a division of the fleet under the 
immediate command of Lord Nelson, and to which the 
Polyphemm was attached, got under weigh and moved 
to an anchorage in seven and a half fathoms, to the south- 
ward of a shoal called the Middel Grund, and only about 
a couple of miles from the main defences of the capital. 

The navigation among the numerous shoals off Copen- 
hagen is at all times exceedingly difficult and intricate, 
and it was rendered all the more so on this occasion, 
from the fact that the Danes had caused all the buoys 
and beacons, that usually marked the channels, to be 

It is not my object, or intention, to give a detailed 
account of the great battle that was fought on the 
ensuing day, and which Nelson himself characterises as 
" the greatest victory he ever gained " ^ — the " most hard- 
fought battle and the most complete victory that ever 
was fought and obtained by the navy of this country ; " 2 
suffice it to say that the Polyphemm bore herself 
bravely, and took a very prominent part in that day's 
glorious but sanguinary engagement. 

Young Franklin, ever since he left the grammar-school 
at Louth, had been yearning for active service ; he must 
have experienced it to his heart's content when the old 
Polyjjhemus, in charge of brave Captain Lawford, in 
her appointed station in the line of battle, stood in and 
engaged the Danish block-ships, Wagner and Provesteen, 
besides receiving a very fair share of attention from 

1 Vide Lord Nelson's letter to the Crown Prince of Denmark. 
^ See Lord Nelson's letter to the Lord Mayor of London, aist June 





the guns of the formidable Tre Kroner battery. Her 
loss on this occasion was six killed and twenty -four 
wounded, among the former being one of Franklin's 
messmates, Mr. James Bell, midshipman. The total 
loss of the British during this engagement was 255 
killed and 688 wounded ; but this does not include those 
who were slightly wounded.^ Rear -Admiral Graves, 
whose flag was flying on board the Poli/phemuSy was 
invested with the Order of the Bath as a reward for 
his services during the battle. 

On the 12th of April the English squadron left 
Copenhagen, and passing through the tortuous and 
shallow channel in the Sound, known as the Drogden, 
entered the Baltic. In order to efltect this passage, 
the heavy-draft vessels had to be considerably lightened, 
the majority of them had consequently to transfer their 
guns temporarily into merchant ships, while special 

1 The following is an extract from the official log of the Poly- 
phenms for the 2nd of April 1801: — 

"At 10.30 A.M. the division weighed per signal, the Edgar leading, 
the van consisting of Edgar, Elephant, Monarch, Ardent, Olatton, 
Defiance, Jsia, Polyphemus, Bdlona, Russell, and Gauges. At 
10.45 *li6 Danes opened fire upon our leading ships, which was 
returned as they lead in. We lead in at 11.20. We anchored 
by the stern abreast of two of the enemy's ships moored in the 
channel ; the Isis next ahead of us. The force that engaged us was 
two ships, one of 74, the other 64 guns. At half-past eleven the action 
became general, and a continual fire was kept up between us and the 
enemy's ships and batteries. At noon a very heavy and constant 
fire was kept up between us and the enemy, and this was continued 
without any intermission until 45 minutes past 2, when the 74 abreast 
of us ceased firing ; but not being able to discern she had struck, our 
fire was kept up 15 minutes longer ; then we could perceive their 
people making their escape to the shore in boats. We ceased firing, 
and boarded both ships and took possession of them. Several others 
also taken possession of by the rest of our ships ; one blown up in 
action, two sunk. Mustered ship's company, and found we had 6 
men killed and 24 wounded, and 2 lower-deck guns disabled." 






officers were employed in laying down buoys to mark 
the channel and point out the dangers. This, we may 
be sure, afforded our young friend valuable experience 
in the practical work of his profession ; it may reason- 
ably be inferred that it was among the shoals and sand- 
banks, and rapid irregular currents of the Baltic, that 
Franklin acquired his first lesson in that art of marine 
surveying in which he afterwards became so proficient. 

On the 13th of April, affairs between Denmark and 
England having, at any rate for the time, been amicably 
adjusted, young Franklin was discharged from the Polf/- 
phemu8 to the Isis for passage to England. After a 
quick run home we find him, on the 27th April 1801, 
entered on the books of the Investigator as one of six 
midshipmen appointed to that ship, which had been 
specially brought forward and commissioned for dis- 
covery in the Southern Hemisphere. Her commander 
was Lieutenant Matthew Flinders, an officer who had 
already made a name for himself in the scientific world 
as an energetic explorer and a talented and skilful 

Flinders was appointed as lieutenant in command of 
the ship on the 26th January 1801, and on the i6th of 
the following month was promoted to the rank of com- 
mander. Being related to Franklin, he had, no doubt, 
used his influence in getting the boy home and ap- 
pointed to his ship. 

The Investigator (late Xenophon, an armed ship used 
for the purpose of convoying merchant vessels in the 
Channel) was an old vessel of about 330 tons burthen, 
somewhat of the size and description recommended by 
that eminent and successful navigator Captain Cook, as 
best adapted for voyages of exploration. She had 




been purchased into the Royal Navy some years pre- 
viously, and having been newly coppered and thoroughly 
equipped, was considered as the most suitable vessel that 
could at that time be despatched for the contemplated 
exploration of Terra Australia and adjacent seas. She 
carried a complement of eighty-three officers and men. 

No better selection for the command of the Investi- 
gator could have been made, for Captain Flinders, besides 
being an officer of great experience, had already achieved 
much valuable and important geographical work in Aus- 
tralian waters. Matthew Flinders, like his young rela- 
tive Franklin, was a Lincolnshire man, bom and educated 
at the small town of Donington, where his father was in 
practice as a surgeon. Living in the immediate vicinity 
of the sea, and constantly associating with seafaring men, 
it is not to be wondered at that he was soon imbued with 
the dee''"e to become a sailor. His earnest entreaties 
were complied with, and at the early age of fourteen 
he was bound apprentice in the merchant service; join- 
ing a ship shortly afterwards, he sailed on a voyage to 
the South Seas, where he had the rare treat of beholding 
and visiting the lovely islands of the Sandwich and So- 
ciety Groups. This trip to the Pacific only served to 
whet the appetite of young Flinders for the sea, and to 
arouse in him a desire for further exploration and adven- 
ture. On his return to England from this first cruise, so 
persistent was he in his importunities to become a sailor, 
and above all a naval officer, that he succeeded, through 
the influence of Admiral Sir Thomas Pasley, in obtaining, 
in the early part of 1795, ^^ appointment as midship- 
man on board the Reliance. This ship was at the time 
fitting out for the purpose of conveying Captain William 
Hunter to New South Wales, in succession to Captain 


i li 






Phillip as governor of the newly-formed colony. The 
Lincolnshire boy was delighted with his appointment, 
believing that the Australian station of all others would 
oflFer the best opportunities for the exploration of un- 
known regions, and would, therefore, the better enable 
him to gratify his cravings for the discovery of new 

Perhaps it will be as well to give in the next chapter 
a very brief sketch of the geographical work that had 
already been accomplished in the Southern Hemisphere, 
prior to the departure from England of the Reliance in 
1795 with young Flinders on board. 







" Ye lonely isles ! on ocean's bound 
Ye bloom'd through time's long flight unknown, 
Till Cook the untrack'd billow pass'd, 
Till he along the surges cast 
Philanthrop's connecting zone." 

— Helen M. Williams. 

From earliest times there had always been some vagiie 
idea of the existence of a large southern continent in the 
immediate neighbourhood of the South Pole, to balance, 
as it was believed, the great accumulation of land in the 
Northern Hemisphere. Imbued with this idea, the 
Spaniards were the first to attempt a practical realisa- 
tion of the theory that had been so long held and ac- 
cepted. With this object in view, namely, the discovery 
of the supposed great southern continent, an expedition 
consisting of two ships was despatched from Callao in 
Peru in 1567. The command of it was intrusted to the 
nephew of the governor, a young soldier named Don 
Alvaro Mendana. After a voyage across the Southern 
Ocean, extending over a period of three months, the 
welcome report of " Land ahead " was received from 
the advanced ship, and in February 1568 the vessels 
cast anchor in a large and commodious harbour. It was 







iiot, however, Australia; after discovering and naming 
many islands in the Solomon Group, the expedition 
returned to Peru. 

In 1595, twenty-seven years after his return from the 
voyage above alluded to, Mendafia, still bent on dis- 
covery, again sailed from Callao in command of a squad- 
ron of four small ships. In this voyage the Marquesas 
and the Santa Cruz islands were discovered, but they 
failed in finding that great southern continent which was 
the principal object of their search. This expedition 
terminated disastrously. Mendafia died, and only one 
vessel, on board which was his widow and the pilot 
Quiros, succeeded in reaching Manilla in safety. 

Iri 1606 another expedition was despatched from the 
port of Callao under the command of Pedro Fernandez de 
Quiros, who was Mendana's pilot during his last voyage ; 
the second in command was Luis Vaez de Torres. The 
expedition consisted of two well-armed vessels and a cor- 
vette. On the 30th April 1606, land was sighted, and so 
extensive did it appear, that the explorers had no doubt 
it was the great Australian continent of which they were 
in search. The discovery was hailed with joyous accla- 
mations, and the name of Australia del Espiritu Santo 
was given to the land. But alas ! it was not what they 
hoped and expected ; it was simply the largest island of 
the New Hebrides group, which still retains the name 
given it by Quiros. After leaving this island, they 
encountered heavy weather, during which the ships 
separated. Quiros then made sail for South America. 
Torres, however, continued the voyage, and in August 
sighted the island of New Guinea, and discovered the 
strait between that island and the continent of Aus- 
tralia which now bears his name. Although this is the 




first authentic record of the coast of Australia liaving 
been actually sighted, it is quite certain, from old maps 
that are still in existence, that the continent of Terra 
Australis, as it was then more generally called, had been 
sighted by Dutch, and perhaps also by Portuguese, navi- 
gators. At the same time that Torres was prosecuting 
his discoveries, a small Dutch vessel called the Duyfhen 
was, it is reported, sent from Bantam for the purpose 
of exploring the coast of New Guinea. It is alleged that 
this vessel sailed along the west coast of an extensive 
continent (supposed to be in the Gulf of Carpentaria, and 
which they thought was New Guinea), to as far as 13° 
45' S. latitude. If this be true — and there is no reason 
to doubt the accuracy of the captain's statement — the 
credit for the discovery of Australia should be awarded 
to the commander of the Duyfheriy who actually sighted 
and sailed along the coast, four months before Torres 
saw the northern part of the continent. 

In 1686 a Dutchman named Dirck Hartog of Amster- 
dam, in a ship called the Eendragt, outward bound from 
Holland to India, sailed along the west coast of Aus- 
tralia from 23° to 26^° S. latitude. A record of his dis- 
covery, cut with a knife on a plate of tin, was found 
in Sharks Bay in 1697, and subsequently in 1801. It 
bore the following inscription : — "Anno 1616 the 25th 
October arrived here the ship Eendragt of Amsterdam ; 
the first merchant Gilles Mibais Van Luyck, Dirck 
Hartog of Amsterdam, captain. They sailed from 
hence for Bantam the 27th Dec." 

One or two other Dutch outward-bound ships sighted 
the west coast during the next few years; and in 1622 
the Dutch ship Leeuwin sighted the south-west point of 
Australia, which fact has been permanently established 



li I 




by that headland still bearing the name of Cape Leewin. 
In the following year, two ships under command of Jan 
Carstens sailed from Amboyna on a voyage of discovery. 
At New Guinea, Carstens with eight of his crew were 
treacherously murdered by the natives. The vessels, how- 
ever, proceeded on the voyage, and made some discoveries 
to the southward; but the accounts are too vague to 
ascertain accurately the exact track of the vessels. In 
January 1627, the south coast of Australia was dis- 
covered by Pieter Nuyts in the Dutch ship Guide 
Ze&paardf and was called by him Nuyt's Land. 

The most important Dutch voyages made at about 
this time were those of Abel Janz Tasman, who was 
despatched in 1642, and again in 1644, on voyages of ex- 
ploration by the Dutch governor-geneml of Java, Antony 
Van Diemen, "who sent us out to make discoveries." 
Tasman sailed from Batavia on his first voyage in August 
1642, in the yacht HeenisJcirJc, accompanied by the fly- 
boat Zeehaan. In October he reached Mauritius, thence 
he steered to the south-east, and on the 24th November 
sighted land which proved to be the island now known as 
Tasmania, but to which Tasman gave the name of his em- 
ployer, Van Diemen. Sailing round the south end of the 
island, they eventually came to an anchor in a sheltered 
harbour on the east coast, to which they gave the name 
of Frederik Hendrik's Bay, a name it still retains. 
Here they landed to search for water, wood, and refresh- 
ments. Although traces of men were found, and human 
voices it was supposed were heard, they did not succeed 
in establishing communication with, or even seeing, the 
natives. On the 4th December they weighed anchoi .iad 
continued their course to the eastward, and on the 13th 
sighted the high mountains on the west coast of New 




Zealand, in latitude 42° 10' S. Tasman anchored his 
ships in a bay at the entrance of the strait separating 
the two islands. Here his boat was attacked by the 
natives, and several of his men were killed : he named 
the bay, in consequence, " Moordenaars " (Murderer's) 
Bay; it is now known as Massacre Bay. Tasman 
gave the name of Staten Land to this newly-discovered 
country, after the States-General of the Netherlands, 
imagining it was part of the great southern continent. 
Its name was, however, subsequently changed to New 
Zealand, by which it is now known. Steering to the 
northward, he sailed up the east coast of Australia, but 
without sighting it, and returned by the north coast of 
New Guinea, arriving at Batavia on the 15th of June 
1643. Tasman was again despatched the following year 
on a voyage of discovery, but it is much to be regretted 
that no accounts of this voyage have ever been made 
public. It seems, however, clear from his charts that he 
made a careful exploration of the Gulf of Carpentaria, 
so named after Carpenter, who was the President of the 
Dutch East India Company. Tasman was a bold and 
fortunate navigator, but he was also a careful and a 
skilful one, as is evidenced by his surveys, which, con- 
sidering the somewhat rude appliances that were in use 
in those days for determining and fixing positions, are 
very fairly accurate. 

In 1688, our famous buccaneering navigator, William 
Dampier, made a voyage round the world, and anchored 
on the north-west coast of Terra Australis Incognita, as 
it was then called, in a harbour in the neighbourhood of 
King Sound, for the purpose of careening and repairing 
his ship, an operation which occupied the crew about two 
months. Dampier writes : " New Holland is a very large 




tract of land. It is not yet determined whether it in 
an island or a main continent; but I am certain that 
it joins neither to Asia, Africa, nor America." 

In 1696, another Dutch captain, named William de 
Vlaming, visited the west coast of Australia in the ship 
Oeelvink, and discovered and named the Swan River. ^ 
He brought back two live black swans to Batavia with 
him, the earliest notice that we have of the existence of 
these birds. Whilst exploring along the coast to the 
northward, the tin plate with the inscription commemo- 
rating the discovery of Dirck Hartog in 1616 (see page 
19, ante) was found. This expedition made a thorough 
examination of the west coast from the mouth of the 
Swan River to the North-West Cape. 

Three years afterwards, namely, in 1699, the west 
coast was again visited by Captain William Dampier in 
H.M.S. Roebuck^ who was sent out on a voyage of 
discovery by William III. It was, however, barren of 
important results, as he simply followed in the footsteps 
of those who had preceded him, verifying their work 
but making no fresh discoveries. 

In spite of the numerous voyages that had been made 
to the great southern continent, some of which have 
been here briefly alluded to, our knowledge of the coast 
of Terra Australis was very incomplete and very limited, 
when Captain James Cook sailed on his first voyage 
of discovery in 1768. The western coast of Australia 
was then known as New Holland; it had been more 
frequently sighted and visited by navigators than any 
other part of the continent. The oast coast was entirely 
unknown. New Guinea to the north, and Van Diemen's 
Ijand to the south, were believed to be portions of one 
1 Iti was named, by de Vlaming, the Blac'i: Swan River. 




and the same continent, the latter being supposed to be 
a prolongation of the land discovered by Pieter Nuyts to 
the southward. Even the Australia del Espiritu Santo 
of Quiros was, if in existence, supposed to belong to the 
mainland. All was vagueness, uncertainty, and con- 
jecture. It remained for our great navigator Cook to lift 
the veil of doubt and uncertainty which still enshrouded 
the great southern land, and by his ability and energy 
to give to his country a continent that in riches and 
importance is now second to no empire in the world. 

Captain Cook sailed from England in the Endeavour on 
the 26th August 1768 ; the principal object of the expedi- 
tion which he commanded being a voyage to the South 
Sea for the purpose of observing the transit of Venus. 
This being accomplished, the Endeavour was ordered to 
prosecute discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere, and 
make a more accurate examination of the Pacific Ocean. 
Cook was accompanied by Sir Joseph Banks, afterwards 
President of the Royal Society, a great scholar and an 
ardent investigator in the pursuit of science, and by Dr. 
Solander, an accomplished botanist and naturalist. 

The transit of Venus having been satisfactorily ob- 
served on the 3rd June 1769 at Otaheite, the Endeavour, 
after a stay of three months at that island, sailed on the 
13th of the following month, and after cruising for a 
short time among the islands which were named by 
Cook the Society Group, a course was shaped for New 
Zealand, which was sighted at daylight on October the 
6th. 1 On the 8th the ship dropped anchor in a large bay, 
which received the name of Poverty Bay, on account 

^ The look-oub at the masthead, vrho reported this land, was a boy 
named Nicholas Toung ; it was named, after him, by Captain Cook, 
Young Nick's Head. 





of the inhospitable, not to say hostile, reception the 
expedition met with at the hands of the natives. Some 
months were profitably employed in the exploration 
of the coast of this little known land, during which 
New Zealand was completely circumnavigated, and 
found to consist of two large islands ; after much 
valuable and important geographical work had been 
accomplished, the Endeavour sailed to the westward, 
bent on further exploration and research. On the 
morning of the i8th of April 1770, land was observed 
by the first lieutenant, and was named, after him. 
Point Hicks. Thence Captain Cook sailed northwards, 
and rounding the south-east point of Australia, which he 
called Cape Howe, he anchored in a safe and capacious 
bay on the 26th, which was subsequently named Botany 
Bay, in consequence of .the great variety and richness of 
the plants collected there by Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander. 
Here they remained for ten days, engaged in scientific 
pursuits and in endeavouring to conciliate the natives, 
many of whom were induced to come down to the ship. 

Sailing on the 6th of May, they proceeded to the 
northward, discovering and naming Port Jackson, on 
the shores of which is now situated the important city 
of Sydney, the capital of New South Wales. Moreton 
Bay, at the head of which now stands Brisbane, the 
capital of Queensland, was also discovered and named. 

During this voyage Captain Cook sailed along the 
entire eastern coast of Australia, which he named New 
South Wales, taking possession of it in the name of His 
Majesty King George the Third. Hitherto the En- 
deavour had been safely navigated among dangerous 
shoals and hidden rocks, and other unknown dangers, 
with a surprising immunity from disaster. This exemp 




tion from casualties was, however, not to last; for at 
about eleven o'clock on the night of the loth June 1770, 
the ship struck heavily on a rock, and remained im- 
movable. The situation was certainly not a ple^isant 
one, for the loss of the ship meant the possible loss of 
all on board, as the chances of saving themselves by 
their boats alone, so many thousands of miles from any 
place where they could hope to obtain relief and succour, 
were very small indeed. Everything was, however, done 
that skill and experience could suggest in order to ex- 
tricate the ship from her perilous condition, but for 
some time without avail, and f,he ODntinued to beat with 
great violence on the rocks upon which she had struck. 
By the dim light of the moon that prevailed, they 
could see portions of the false keel, and other parts of 
the bottom of their good ship, that had been torn and 
wrenched oflf by the sharp, jagged edges of the rocks, 
floating around them, and it seemed extremely impro- 
bable that she would hold together for another tide. 
Fortunately there was but little wind, and as the tide 
fell, the ship settled down more quietly in her rocky 
cradle. Every effort was then made to lighten her ; six 
guns were thrown overboard, as well as a quantity of 
iron and stone ballast and other stores, and the water 
was also started. When daylight broke, they found the 
ship was making a considerable amount of water, which 
the pumps were unable to control. Their great fear 
now was that as the tide rose, the ship might float off, 
a id immediately sink in deeper water ; but, to their great 
s> rprise, and no less gratification, they found, when she 
floated, that not only were their fears groundless, but 
also that the pumps gained considerably on the leak. In 
order to obtain this advantage, however, the men had to 

o , li 

' l)' 

i: i 






remain unceasingly at work, a duty which entailed hard 
and incessant labour. Being unable to get at the leak 
from the inside of the ship, and being naturally desirous 
of ascertaining its extent, and, if possible, taking such 
steps to prevent the great inflow of water, which caused 
such harassing and severe physical exertions on the part 
of the crew. Captain Cook, at the suggestion, he tells 
us, of Mr. Markhouse, one of the midshipmen of the ship, 
ordered a sail to be thrummed,^ and, thus prepared, 
hauled under the bottom of the ship. The suction 
of the water at the leak dragged the sail into the 
injured part, and thus materially reduced, to their no 
small comfort and joy, the amount of water that found 
its way into the Endeavour. The ship was then brought 
in close to the land, and anchored in a snug little har- 
bour at the mouth of a river, which received the name 
of Endeavour River, and here she was thoroughly 
overhauled and repaired. The point of land in the 
immediate vicinity of the scene of the disaster was 
called Point Tribulation, to commemorate the unfortu- 
nate event. It was during the time the ship was in 
Endeavour River that kangaroos were first seen, killed, 
and eaten. The repairs being effected, a start was 
once more made; and sailing through Torres Strait, 
though not without experiencing many dangers and no 
few difficulties. Cook returned to England, passing the 
Lizard on the loth June 1771, thus completing his first 
voyage of discovery in the South Seas, during which time 
he circumnavigated New Zealand, sailed along the entire 
east coast of Australia, and performed altogether one of 
the most remarkable voyages on record. 

^ A sail is thrummed by stitching yarns and oakum of the neces- 
sary dimensions on to the saiL 




iS the 
is first 
one of 


It was not likely that so experienced and skilful a 
navigator as Captain Cook would be allowed to remain 
for any length of time inactive and unemployed. Im- 
mediately on his arrival in England he was promoted to 
the rank of commander, and in the following year was 
appointed to the command of an expedition, that had for 
its object the final determination of the existence, or 
otherwise, of a southern continent. He was also directed 
to circumnavigate the globe in as high a southern latitude 
as possible. The expedition consisted of two vessels, 
the Resolution^ under the immediate command of Captain 
Cook, and the ^^^wew^wre, commanded by Captain Furneaux. 
The ships left Plymouth on the 13th July 1772, and after 
touching at the Cape of Good Hope, crossed the Antarctic 
Circle, and reached the latitude of 67° 15' S., when their 
further progress to the southward was effectually im- 
peded by ice. After vain endeavours to penetrate to a 
higher latitude, during which time the ships got sepa- 
rated. Captain Cook sailed for New Zealand, which he 
reached on the 25th March 1773, after having been at 
sea for 117 consecutive days, during which time he 
sailed over 10,000 miles without seeing land. Two 
months later the Adventure was fallen in with at an 
appointed rendezvous, after a separation of fourteen 
weeks. During that time Captain Furneaux had suc- 
ceeded in exploring some portions of Van Diemen's 
Land. New Zealand was left on the 7th of June, after 
various animals, such as sheep, pigs, goats, cocks and 
hens, and even a couple of geese, of each sex, had been 
landed, with the view of eventually stocking the country 
with these useful domestic animals, whilst potatoes, car- 
rots, onions, parsnips, cabbage, beans, turnips and other 
edible vegetables were planted. On the 17th of August 





the ships arrived at Otaheite, where much-needed rest 
and refreshment were obtained by the crews. After 
visiting several islands in the Society and other groups, 
the expedition again directed its course towards New 
Zealand, which was sighted on the 21st of October; 
shortly afterwards they experienced a furious storm, 
during which the ships were again separated, never to 
meet again during the remainder of the voyage. 

Captain Cook sailed from New Zealand on the 26th 
of November, and proceeded to the southward to renew 
his search for the great southern continent ; but he was 
again baffled by ice, and after reaching the 71st degree 
of south latitude, he relinquished all further attempts, 
and pursued a northerly course. Easter Island was 
reached on the nth March 1774, and the Marquesas 
during the early part of the following month. On April 
22nd the Resolution anchored at Otaheite, more for the 
purpose of determining the rate of the chronometers 
than for any other reason, although they gladly availed 
themselves of the opportunity to furnish the ship with 
a much-needed supply of fresh provisions, which were, 
it is needless to add, highly appreciated after their long 
sea-cruise. After a stay of about four weeks. Captain 
Cook took his departure from Otaheite, and after visiting 
some of the adjacent islands sailed to the westward, and 
passing through the New Hebrides Group (so named by 
him), and visiting and naming several of the islands in 
it, he discovered and named the large island of New 
Caledonia, as also Norfolk Island, eventually anchoring 
in Queen Charlotte Sound, New Zealand, on the i8th 
of October. Leaving New Zealand on the loth of the 
following month, Captain Cook rounded Cape Horn in 
December, and after making another attempt to reach 




a high southern latitude, during which time he dis- 
covered and named New Georgia, he sailed for England, 
and finally anchored his ship at Spithead on the 30th 
July 1775, after an absence of a little over three years. 
His consort, the Adventure, had reached England on 
the 14th July the previous year. 

It is needless to allude here to the great skill, the 
remarkable energy, and the perseverance that were 
displayed by our great navigator during this wonderful 
voyage, for they are matters of history ; immediately on 
his arrival in England he was advanced to the rank of 
post-captain and appointed a captain of Greenwich Hos- 
pital ; he was shortly after elected a Fellow of the Royal 
Society, and presented with the Copley gold medal of that 

Captain Cook, however, was not permitted to enjoy 
his comfortable appointment at Greenwich for any 
length of time, for on the loth February 1776 he was 
selected for, and appointed to, the command of an expe- 
dition that had for its primary object the discovery of 
a north east passage by Bering's Strait, a project the 
successful execution of which had so long baffled the 
boldness and skill of many enterprising navigators. 
The vessels selected for this important service were 
the Resolution and the Discovery. Captain Cook was 
appointed to the command of his old ship, while the 
command of the Discovery was intrusted to Captain 
Charles Gierke. 

Captain Cook sailed from England on the 12th of 
July 1776, and calling at the Cape of Good Hope in 
November, proceeded on his voyage to the south-east, 
spending two or three days, including Christmas, at 
Kerguelen Island, where they found a record in a 




bottle, wliicli clearly proved they were not the first 
people, as they had supposed, who had landed on this 
sterile and inhospitable island. Van Diemen's Land 
was reached on the 26th January 1777, ^^^ ^^^ neces- 
sary supplies of wood and water obtained. The next 
stage was to their old anchorage in Queen Charlotte's 
Sound in New Zealand ; thence the expedition proceeded 
to the Friendly Islands and Otaheite, at all of which 
places officer^ and men were regaled with fresh pro- 
visions, while a considerable stock was laid in for their 
forthcoming cruise. The Society Islands were left on 
the 2nd of Decent ber, and three weeks after, the Equator 
was crosse . Xi- Sandwich Islands were reached and 
named towards ad of January 1778. Continuing 

their course northwards, the ships sighted the coast of 
New Albion lb 7th 1 i." March, and on the 29th of 
the same month anchoied oii Vancouver Island, in a 
large inlet which Cook named King George's Sound, but 
which they subsequently found was called Nootka by 
the natives. The ships sailed again on the 26th of 
April, and, in spite of tempestuous weather, slowly but 
surely worked their way in a northerly direction. On 
May 12th the expedition anchored in a large bay on 
the south coast of Alaska, which received the name 
of Prince William Sound. The island of Oonalaska 
was reached on the 27th of June, and, after a stay of 
a few days, the ships resumed their voyage northwards. 
On the 9th of July, Cape Prince of Wales was named, 
and on the following day the expedition had the satisfac- 
tion of passing through Bering's Strait. Steering first 
to the east and then due north, the latitude of 70° 33' 
was reached on the 17 th July, when, after proceeding 
ten miles farther in a northerly direction, their prog- 




ress was stopped by a large field of ice, so compact as 
to defy all efforts at penetration. Captain Cook perse- 
vered in his endeavours to penetrate the pack in several 
different directions until the 29th July, but always with- 
out success, for every day the ice seemed to increase and 
offer a more effective obstacle to advancement. Think- 
ing, therefore, that the season was too far advanced, he 
relinquished further attempts to explore in a northerly 
direction for that year, and returned to the southward, 
collecting much valuable geographical information on the 
way. On the 30th of November, the island of Owhyhee 
(Hawai) was discovered, and seven weeks were spent in 
sailing round and exploring its coast. On the 1 7th of 
January 1779 the two ships came to an anchor in Kara- 
kakooa Bay, and here Captain Cook determined to refit 
his ships and refresh his men, preparatory to making 
another voyage to Bering's Strait. The details of the 
lamentable death of our great navigator. in this harbour, 
on the 14th of the following month, are so well known 
that further allusion to it here is rendered unnecessary. 
The voyages and discoveries of Captain Cook bear so 
intimately on the work of Sir John Franklin in both 
hemispheres, that I have touched upon them somewhat 
more in detail than I had intended. It is only neces- 
sary to add, that after the irreparable loss sustained by 
the death of their commander, the two ships, under the 
command of Captain Gierke, left the Sandwich Islands 
in prosecution of the main object of the expedition on the 
15th March. On the 28th of the following month the 
vessels anchored off Petropaulowski in Kamchatka, where 
the officers and men were most cordially received and 
hospitably entertained by the Russian authorities, who 
provided them with every necessary that the place could 

i- I 





supply, even at the cost of much inconvenience and 
privation to themselves. 

Leaving Petropaulowski on the 13th June, the 
expedition sailed through Bering's Strait on the 5th of 
July, but their further progress was arrested two days 
afterwards by a solid barrier of ice. They continued to 
search for a passage until the 27th, but, in spite of all 
efforts, they were unable to penetrate to within ten miles 
of the latitude reached by them the previous year under 
Captain Cook. Realising the impracticability, under the 
existing conditions of the ice, of accomplishing the much 
wished-for passage that season, they reluctantly returned 
to the southward, when, after achieving some useful 
geographical work in the Pacific, the ships sailed for 
England, where they arrived in October, after an absence 
of four years two months and twenty-two days. 

Other navigators, at different times, visited the coast 
of Terra Australis, and even made the passage through 
Torres Strait; but as the amount of exploration and 
the work accomplished by them were, for the most 
part, comparatively unimportant, it is unnecessary to 
make any further reference to them here. One of the 
chief and most important results leading from the 
discoveries of Captain Cook, was the formation of a 
colony in New South Wales. On the 19th of January 
1788, nine years after the death of the great navigator. 
Captain Arthur Phillip, of the Royal Navy, arrived at 
Botany Bay in H.M. brig Supply, and established the 
first settlement in Australia. He was soon followed by 
Captain Hunter in the Syrius, with six transports and 
three store-shipa The settlement was shortly afterwards 
removed to Port Jackson, a much better harbour situated 
about ten miles to the northward, where the present 




town of Sydney was founded, and Captain Phillip thus 
became the first Governor of the colony of New South 

In the year 1795, Captain William Hunter was 
appointed to relieve Captain Phillip in the government 
of the new colony, and sailed from England in the 
Reliance, taking with him, as was mentioned in the 
preceding chapter, young Matthew Flinders as one of 
his midshipmen. 





" As when to those who saile 
Beyond the Cape of Hope, and now are past 
Mozambie, off at sea, north-east winds blow 
Sabean odours from the spicie shore of 
Arabie the blest." — Paradise Lost. 

On the arrival of the Reliance at Sydney Cove, young 
Flinders found that the existing knowledge of the coast 
in the vicinity of Port Jackson was exceedingly limited. 
No detailed survey had been attempted, nor was there 
even a correct delineation of the coast-line, except in the 
case of those discoveries that had been published in Cap- 
tain Cook's general chart. So keen an interest did this 
young and enthusiastic midshipman take in the work of 
geographical research that he at once determined to use 
his utmost exertions in striving to supply the deficiency. 
Fortunately there was on board the Reliance a kindred 
spirit in the person of Mr. George Bass, the assistant- 
surgeon, whose enthusiasm for the promotion of geo- 
graphical discovery was equal to, if not greater than, 
that of his younger friend. These two officers, although, 
incredible to relate, they met with no encouragement 

from their superiors, set to work with resolution and 





perseverance, fully determined, to the utmost of their 
power and ability, to complete the examination of the 
coast of New South Wales so far as the limited means 
at their disposal would admit, and whenever, be it noted, 
they could be spared from their own particular duties 
on board the Reliance. 

The success attending the praiseworthy attempts of 
these young officers to throw light on the darkness that 
surrounded this hitherto unexplored and almost unknown 
coast, was commensurate with the energy and resolution 
displayed. By their own unaided efforts, they equipped 
a small boat only eight feet in length, and not inappro- 
priately named the Tom Thumb, and with a crew con- 
sisting of themselves and one boy, they sailed from Port 
Jackson on their first surveying expedition. Thus the 
somewhat anomalous picture is presented to us, of a 
young midshipman and an assistant-surgeon in the navy, 
undertaking to execute what must be considered as a 
very important survey of the hitherto practically un- 
known coast of Australia, entirely on their own resources, 
unaided and unassisted by those who were better able, 
and perhaps, from their experience, better qualified to 
undertake the service and bring it to a successful issue. 
The result of their first attempt was the exploration, for 
a considerable distance, of George's River, which falls 
into Botany Bay, and an extension of the knowledge of 
this river to some twenty miles beyond Captain Hunter's 
previous survey. This was a work of some importance, 
for it led to the foundation of a new settlement, which 
was called Bank's Town, after Sir Joseph Banks, the 
companion of Cook in his first voyage, and the learned 
President of the Royal Society. 

Their second venture was of a more extended character 




than the first, although their means were just as limited, 
for it was carried out, as before, in the little Tom Thumb. 
Their objective on this occasion was the exploration of 
a large river that emptied itself into the sea some miles 
to the southward of Botany Bay, but of the existence of 
which there was no indication on the chart of Captain 
Cook. Sailing from Port Jackson on the 5th March 1795, 
a thorough and careful examination of the coast was 
eflFected by these young officers, until a heavy gale of 
wind springing up from the southward, not only neces- 
sitated a temporary discontinuance of their work, but 
threatened to overwhelm their tiny boat. The dangers 
to which our young explorers were thus exposed were 
materially increased by the intense darkness of the 
night, the strong and irregular currents that prevailed, 
and their ignorance of any sheltered bay or harbour in 
their vicinity. During all this long, anxious night, 
Flinders remained at the steer oar, and it was only by 
his constant watchfulness and skill, that the little craft 
did not broach to and capsize. Bass attended the sheet, 
an important duty, on the vigilant execution of which 
their lives depended, whilst the i oy was kept fully em- 
ployed baling out the water that was constantly breaking 
into the boat. At length, when their strength was almost 
exhausted, breakers were discovered ahead ; the mast and 
sail were quickly struck, and bending valiantly to the 
oars, they succeeded in carrying their little craft into 
smooth water under the lee of an eictensive reef, and 
thus reached comparative safety, after being for some 
hours in a very perilous and critical position. This was 
only one of the numerous dangers and perils, voluntarily 
faced in the cause of geographical research by our ardent 
and brave explorers. The bay in which they so miracu- 





lously procured shelter was named by them Providential 
Cove, in remembrance of their deliverance on this occa- 
sion — a name it still bears. 

Three years later Dr. Bass, in an open whale-boat 
with a crew only of six seamen, explored over 600 miles 
of coast-line to the southward of Port Jackson, 300 miles 
of which were entirely new. In his small and frail 
craft, exposed during the greater part of the time to 
very tempestuous weather, accompanied, as is invariably 
the case in those latitudes, by a high and raging sea, 
this energetic officer persevered until he discovered the 
strait separating Australia from Tasmania, and which 
now, very properly, bears his name. Although he only 
carried with him provisions to last for an anticipated 
absence of six weeks, he was able, with the assistance 
of petrels, fish, geese, and black swans that he succeeded 
in obtaining, and also by parsimonious economy and 
abstinence, to prolong his voyage to eleven weeks ! The 
farthest point on the mainland reached by him was 
Western Port. This voyage, in a small open boat, was 
a feat that for fearlessness and determination has 
scarcely been equalled in the annals of geography or 
maritime enterprise. 

During the period that Dr. Bass was absent on this 
expedition, his young friend Flinders was not idle ; for, 
having first obtained permission from Governor Hunter, 
he embarked on board the schooner Francis^ and sailed 
in her on the ist February 1798 to Preservation Island, 
one of the Fumeaux group. This vessel, it should be 
observed, had been despatched for the purpose of saving 
the cargo, or some portion of it, of a vessel that had 
recently been wrecked there, as well as with the object 
of bringing back the few rien who had been left in 





charge of the wreckage. During this cruise young 
Flinders did excellent work in fixing the positions of 
various parts of the coast, and in obtaining valuable and 
important information on many points relative to the 
places visited, their inhabitants, natural history, geo- 
logical formation, <tc. He returned to Port Jackson on 
the 9th of March. Writing of the Furneaux Islands, 
and referring to the noise made by the thousands of 
seals that infest the gi'oup, Flinders says : — 

" Those who have seen a farm-yard, well stocked with pigs, 
calves, sheep, oxen, and with two or three litters of puppies 
with their mothers in it, and have heard them all in tumult 
together, may form a good idea of the confused noise of the 
seals at Cone Point. The sailors killed as many of these 
harmless and not unamiable creatures, as they were able to 
skin during the time necessary for me to take the requisite 
angles, and we then left the poor affrighted multitude to 
recover from the effects of our inauspicious visit." 

At length, after earnest and repeated solicitations, the 
zeal and pei*severance of Bass and Flinders received 
some official notice. A small sloop of twenty-five tons, 
named the Norfolk, was placed by the Governor of New 
South Wales at their disposal, for the purpose of com- 
pleting the survey and exploration of Bass's Strait. 
They sailed from Port Jackson on the 7th October 
1798, with a crew consisting of eight volunteers, and 
with provisions to last for a contemplated absence of 
twelve weeks. During this cruise Twofold Bay was 
carefully examined, and the northern coast of Tasmania 
was thoroughly explored, besides many adjacent islets, 
the habitat of seals and albatrosses innumerable In- 
deed, on some of the islands on which they landed, the 
explorers had to fight their way up the cliffs through 




crowded masses of seals, who indignantly resented the 
strange, and, to them, unwarrantable intrusion. On 
reaching the summit, they were frequently compelled 
to use their clubs and staves in order to clear a way 
through the albatrosses, which they found sitting on 
their nests in such large numbers as to literally cover 
the surface of the ground. All the different positions 
of the various prominent head-lands, capes, <kc., were 
accurately fixed by our young explorers by careful astro- 
nomical observations, and the fact of the insularity of 
Tasmania, previously reported by Dr. Bass, was now 
actually verified by the Norfolk sailing through Bass's 
Strait This Strait, it may be noted, was named at the 
special request of young Flinders, after his companion 
and colleague. The Norfolk returned to Port Jackson 
on the nth January 1799. 

Flinders was next engaged on an exploring expedition 
to the northward, when Moreton and Harvey's Bays, 
discovered and named by Captain Cook, were thoroughly 
examined. He returned to England in the Reliance in 
1800, after an absence of over five years, during which 
time he had, by sheer industry and pei*severance, quali- 
fied himself as a skilful and expert sailor, and had gained 
the reputation of being an experienced and accomplished 

On the arrival of the ship in England, the charts 
containing all the new surveys and discoveries were 
published, and a scheme was submitted for completing 
the examination of the coast of Australia. This plan 
met with the cordial support of Sir Joseph Banks, the 
President of the Royal Society, and other men interested 
in the science of geography, who were all strongly im- 
pressed with the importance and necessity of completing 





i: ■ 

the work. Backed by such eminent authorities, it is not 
surprising to find that the scheme was favourably received 
by, and met with the hearty approval of, Lord Spencer, 
the First Lord of the Admiralty, who having received the 
sanction of His Majesty, gave the necessary directions 
that an expedition, as proposed, should be despatched. 
Mr. Flinders was, as a matter of course, selected as the 
most fitting person to command it. The Inoestigator, 
as already related in a previous chapter, was the ship 
chosen for this important service, and everjrthing being 
ready, she sailed from Spithead on the i8th of July 
1 80 1. In addition to her complement of eighty-three 
officers and men, she had on board an astronomer,^ a 
naturalist, a landscape painter, ^ as well as a natural 
history painter, a gardener, and a miner. 

The instructions that Captain Flinders received were 
to make as complete an examination as was possible of 
the coast of New Holland, as Australia was then called. 
The south coast was in the first place to be thoroughly 
explored between King George's Sound and Bass's 
Strait, and diligent search was to be made for any 
'•creek or opening likely to lead to an inland sea or 
strait. "3 

Sydney Cove (on the shore of which our first Aus- 
tralian colonists had been established for about thirteen 
years) was selected as the head quarters of the expe- 
dition, and here they were ordered to refit, and provide 

^ Mr. Crosley, but this gentleman was subsequently relieved by 
Mr. Inman, who was the Professor of Mathematics and Nautical 
Science at the Royal Naval Oollege at Portsmouth for many years. 

^ This was the eminent painter William Westall, who afterwards 
became an Associate of the Royal Academy. 

8 Extract from the instructions received by Captain Flinders from 
the Admiralty. 






i n 




themselves with all the necessary supplies procurable. 
On the completion of the survey of the south coast, 
Captain Flinders was directed to turn his attention to 
the exploration of the north-west coast of New Holland, 
where valuable harbours, it was thought probable, might 
be discovered. He was then ordered to examine the 
coast to the Gulf of Carpentaria, and make an exhaus- 
tive survey of Torres Strait. This being accomplished, 
he was instructed to carefully examine the east coast, 
with permission to visit the Fiji, and other islands 
situated in the South Sea, 

It will thus be seen that the work he was required to 
under ':?ke, was of a gigantic and elaborate nature, for 
it was, in reality, an examination of the entire sea-board 
of Australia that he was expected and ordered to carry 
out ; he was, it may be observed, significantly enjoined 
not to return to England until this was satisfactorily 
accomplished ! 

With such an enthusiast in the cause of geographical 
science for his captain, it is not surprising to find that 
young Franklin took kindly to his new duties, and 
speedily gave practical evidence of his skill as a sailor 
and his ability as a surveyor. Home associations were 
undoubtedly a bond of mutual sympathy and connection 
between the man and the boy, and the friendly inter- 
course that, in consequence, existed between the captain 
and the midshipman must have been greatly to the 
advantage of the latter, and, doubtless, aided to mould 
the mind and guide the thoughts of the younger to 
those scientific pursuits which ultimately so distinguished 
him. It is very reasonable for us to infer that it was, 
in all probability, in exploring miles of practically un- 
known coast-line, and in surveying hitherto undiscovered 





bays, reefs, and islands in the Southern Hemisphere, 
that John Franklin's mind became imbued with that 
ardent love of geographical research, which formed such 
a marked and prominent feature in his future profes- 
sional career. Flinders was the example, and the Aus- 
tralian exploration was the school, that created one of 
our greatest Arctic navigators, and one of the most 
eminent geographers of his day. 

Before the Investigator had been many days at sea, 
palpable evidence was afforded of her general unsea- 
worthiness, for before even Madeira was reached, she 
was making as much as three, afterwards increasing to 
five, inches of water per hour, and her general unsuita- 
bility as an exploring ship, in a part of the world where 
boisterous weather was sure to be experienced, was only 
too plain. Captain Flinders, ever loyal to his superiors, 
endeavours to apologise for the unseaworthy state and 
general unfit condition of his ship, and explains as an 
excuse for her selection and adoption for the work on 
which she was to be employed, that " the exiyencies of 
the navy were such, at that time, that he was given to 
understand that no hettei' ship could be spared from the 
service ; and his anxiety to complete the investigation of 
the coasts of Terra Australis did not admit of refusing the 
one offered." It may be here remarked that the distinct 
and appropriate appellation of Australia was given to 
the great south land at the suggestion, and on the re- 
commendation, of Captain Flinders. Referring to the 
name by which it was then known, namely, Terra Aus- 
tralis, he writes, in a footnote at page 3 of the introduc- 
tion to his valuable and interesting work entitled "A 
Voyage to Terra Australis," " Had I permitted myself 
any innovation upon the original termf it would have 


been to convert it into Australia, as being more agreeable 
to the ear, and an assimilation to the names of the other 
great portions of the eai'th.'* 

After touching at the Cape of Good Hope, the Inves- 
tigator anchored in King George's Sound, in Western 
Australia, on the 8th of December. Here they remained 
for four weeks, a period that was profitably employed in 
refitting the rigging and sails and repairing the ship 
generally, also in examining and surveying the Sound. 
Thence Flinders sailed along the south shore of Australia, 
hitherto known as Nuyt's Land, from the Dutch skipper 
who first discovered it, and carefully examined the coast 
of what is now called the Great Australian Bight. The 
nmning survey that was carried out on this occasion was 
so complete and so accurate, that the coast-line, as de- 
lineated by Captain Flinders, remains unaltered on the 
charts of the present day. The land along this coast 
was fringed by a range of high cliffs, estimated at from 
four to six hundred feet in height, and so uniform was 
the appearance of the shore in the neighbourhood, that 
it was found to be almost impossible to define, and name, 
any particular points, or capes, in consequence of the 
similarity of one headland to another. Captain Flinders 
was under the impression that this bank, or fringe, of 
cliffs, which extends for a distance of about 500 miles, 
was, in all probability, the exterior line of a vast coral 
reef, which, from a gradual subsidence, or perhaps by 
some sudden convulsion of Nature, had attained its pre- 
sent position and height above the surface of the sea. 
The examination of this interesting coast afforded much 
new and valuable information. 

We may take it for granted that young Franklin all 
this time, was not only rapidly acquiring valuable expe- 





rience in, and a practical knowledge of his professional 
duties, but that he was also able to afford substantial 
assistance in the surveying work that was being carried 
out. Indeed, we may be assured that this was the case, 
for we find his name associated with a couple of islands 
belonging to the St. Francis group, situated off the 
coast of what is now known as South Australia, and 
which Flinders named the Franklin Isles, after his 
young protdg^. It must have been a proud day for our 
Lincolnshire midshipman when he was informed that 
his name was thus, for the first time, to be immortal- 
ised as a discoverer and explorer. 

Another island in Spencer Gulf was named Spilsby 
Island, presumably after the home and birthplace of 
Franklin ; whilst a large bight on the coast was called 
Louth Bay, and two low islands in the same locality 
were called Louth Islands, after the town in Lincoln- 
shire in which our young friend received the rudiments 
of his education. We may, I think, safely infer, from 
the nomenclature thus conferred on these places, that 
Franklin was, in some way, instrumental in their dis- 
covery, or subsequent examination. The harbour in 
Spencer's Gulf, which formed the most interesting part 
of the discovery, received the appellation of Port Lin- 
coln, in honour of the county from which both Flinders 
and Franklin hailed. 

During this cruise a sad affair occurred through the 
accidental capsizing of one of the Investigator^ s boats, 
resulting in the loss of Mr. Thistle (master), Mr. Taylor 
(midshipman), and six men forming the crew of the 
cutter. This disaster cast a deep gloom over the ship 
for some days, while it deprived Franklin, and the 
other members of the midshipmen's berth, of a mess- 





mate and companion, a young officer of great promise, 
one of their immediate circle. Mr. Thistle, the master, 
whose loss they had to mourn, was a most worthy man 
and deserving officer. He had accompanied Dr. Bass as 
one of the six men comprising the crew of his whale- 
boat during his wonderful boat-journey,^ and he had 
subsequently formed one of the crew of the Norfolk, 
when that vessel was despatched, under Flinders and 
Bass, for the exploration of Bass's Strait. For his ex- 
cellent behaviour, and the ability, intelligence, and zeal 
displayed by him on those occasions, he was promoted to 
a midshipman, and was afterwards advanced to the rank 
of master's-mate. He was subsequently promoted to 
master, and in that capacity was appointed to the In- 
vestigator, at the earnest request and recommendation of 
Captain Flinders. 

On the afternoon of April 8th, intense excitement 
was caused on board the Investigator by the somewhat 
unusual, and certainly unexpected, report of a vessel 
being in sight. 

What ship could possibly be sailing about in those 
unfrequented and hitherto unknown waters ? Was she 
a friend, or could she possibly be a foe? These were 
questions hurriedly asked, but not easily answered. In 
anticipation of the latter eventuality, the drum beat to 
quarters, and the Investigator was, as expeditiously as 
possible, cleared for action, and prepared to meet an 
enemy. Guns that had been dismounted and struck 
below, for convenience in carrying out the special and 
eminently peaceful service on which the ship was em- 
ployed, were quickly brought on deck; the rust was 
hurriedly scraped from them, and they were mounted in 

1 See page 37. 








! I 


their proper ports, and made as serviceable and efficient 
as the short time at their disposal admitted. Fortu- 
nately, however, the fighting capacity of the ship and 
the courage and bellicose propensities of her officers and 
crew, were not destined to be put to the proof, for the 
stranger, that had caused all this excitement, turned 
out to be the French ship Le Geogruphe, employed, like 
themselves, on a peaceful voyage of discovery. She 
was commanded by Captain Nicholas Baudin, who, with 
another ship, Le Naiuraliste, also under his orders, had 
been recently engaged in examining the south and east 
coasts of Van Diemen's Land. Having accidentally 
separated from his consort, Captain Baudin was then 
employed in exploring along the south coast of Australia. 
After friendly visits had been exchanged, and before 
he had fully realised, or even ascertained, the identity 
of Captain Flinders, the French commander pro- 
ceeded to make some adverse criticisms on an English 
chart of Tasmania published in 1800, that was in his 
possession. He was overwhelmed with confusion when 
he found that Captain Flinders, to whom his criticisms 
were addressed, was the author of the maligned chart, 
and was therefore responsible for its accuracy or other- 
wise ! The ships parted company on the following day, 
the Investigator resuming her examination of the coast 
to the south-east, while the Frenchman pursued his in- 
vestigations in a westerly direction. The place of meet- 
ing between the two ships was subsequently called 
Encounter Bay, to commemorate the event. 

The next important piece of work connected with the 
voyage was the supposed discovery of Port Phillip, 
which was surveyed and examined with great care. 
Captain Flinders was so impressed with its admirable 


Bf ! 




situation and the importance of his discovery, that he 
felt confident it would not be long before it would be 
selected as a site for a future settlement. His astonish- 
ment would indeed be great if he could now see the 
rich and flourishing city of Melbourne, which has sprung 
up on the shores of that inlet he was the first to explore. 
It was only after his arrival at Port Jackson, that he 
received the somewhat mortifying piece of intelligence, 
that his discovery had been already anticipated by Lieu- 
tenant John Murray, who, ten weeks before, had dis- 
covered and named this magnificent harbour. 

On the 9th of May 1802, ten months after her depar- 
ture from England, the Investigator anchored in Sydney 
Cove, Port Jackson. All on board were in the enjoy- 
ment of perfect health, and this satisfactory state of 
affairs in connection with tho sanitary condition of the 
ship, was largely due to the constant and unremitting 
attention that was paid to cleanliness, a good and 
nourishing diet, and a free and proper circulation of 
air between decks. Captain Flinders was one of those 
officers who had the happy knack of combining strict 
discipline, with a kindly consideration for the happiness 
and comfort of those under his command. 

There was, of course, much to be done on their arrival 
at Port Jackson. The ship had to be thoroughly over- 
hauled and refitted ; new spars and sails had to be made, 
and old ones repaired ; water had to be obtained, and 
provisions and other stores purchased. While these 
necessary duties were being performed, the scientific 
work connected with the expedition was not neglected. 
An observatory was set up on shore, to which all the 
chronometers were removed, and where all the necessary 
satronomical observations were taken. This observatory 






was placed under the charge of Mr. Samuel Flinders,^ 
the second lieutenant, and young Franklin was appointed 
as his assistant. Here he was kept closely at work, 
and was probably afforded but few opportunities of 
rambling about and exploring on his own account, the 
interesting country in the vicinity of the newly-found 
colony of Sydney. 

In consequence of the particular occupation on which 
he was employed at this time, Franklin jokingly re- 
ceived from the Governor of New South Wales the 
appellation of " Tycho Brahe," after the eminent Danish 

In two and a half months' time, the Investigator was 
again ready to resume her work of exploration along 
the coast of Terra Australis ; but in order to carry out 
this important service in a more thorough manner, a 
brig called the Ladt/ Nelson, of light draft, and com- 
manded by Lieutenant John Murray, was, at the express 
wish of Captain Flinders, attached to his command, with 
directions to co-operate and assist in the exploration. 
The two vessels sailed in company from Port Jackson 
on the 22nd July 1802, and steering in a northerly 
direction, made an exhaustive examination of the eastern 
coast, in accordance with the instructions received from 
the Admiralty. During this trip. Port Bowen was dis- 
covered and named. Whilst carrying out this service, 
officers and men were landed at every convenient oppor- 
tunity, and as much information of the coast as could 
be gathered was obtained. 

^ Samuel Flinders was a brother of the captniii'a. He was appointed 
to the Investigator on the 20th November 1800, and api>ears on her 
books as having joined as an A.B. from the Atalante on 28th February 
1801. He was rated midshipman the same day, and was promoted 
to a lieutenant a week after, namely, on the 6th March 1801. 



Tho Lady Nelson^ however, instead of being of assist- 
ance, as was anticipated, was found to be such an indif- 
ferent sailer, and was so leewanily, that she was sent 
back to Sydney in October, for she proved herself to 
be, as Captain Flinders reports, " more a burthen than 
an assistant." 

After examining various portions of the Great Barrier 
Reef, the Investigator sailed round the north east point 
of Australia and entered the Gulf of Carpentaria. The 
shores of this extensive gulf were minutely examined, 
and the whole of its coast-line was delineated on the 
chart. It was while cruising in this neighbourhood that 
they had their first, and only, serious conflict with the 
natives, on which occasion Mr. Whitewood, master's- 
mate, one of Franklin's messmates, was wounded by 
spears in four places. 

The old Investigator^ at about this period, exhibiting 
unmistakable signs of decay, besides making water some- 
times at the rate of fourteen inches per hour, Captain 
Flinders gave orders for a careful survey of her hull 
to be made, when it was discovered, to their great 
mortification, that her timbers and planking were in 
sucli a terribly rotten condition, that it was not con- 
sidered likely that the ship would hold together, in 
ordinary weather, for more than six months, and that 
in the event of being caught at sea in a heavy gale of 
wind, she would, in all probability, founder ! This was, 
it must be acknowledged, a very serious state of affairs. 
V- .er the circumstances, Captain Flinders decided that 
vould complete the survey of the Gulf of Carpentaria, 
t then make the best of his way to Sydney, by sailing 
round the vest coast of Australia, which he thought 
would be more easily accomplished than by returning 





along the east coast. He hoped to be able to procure 
another ship on his arrival at Sydney, in which to con- 
tinue, and, if possible, to complete, his interesting work 
of discovery and exploration. 

After a somewhat perilous and anxious voyage, he 
succeeded in carrying his crippled and sorely stricken 
ship to Port Jackson, which he reached on the loth 
June 1 803, after an absence of eleven montha In con- 
sequence of the scarcity of fresh provisions, the severity 
of the work on which they had been engaged, and the 
privations they had been exposed to, the ship's company 
was so much debilitated by scurvy and dysentery, that 
it was with difficulty they succeeded in working the ship 
into harbour. No less than five of the crew died a few 
days prior to the ship's arrival, and four succumbed 
shortly after their admission to the hospital on shore. 
Flinders was himself attacked with scorbutic afiFection, 
ana doubtless Franklin was not himself in a more envi- 
able state, and was in all probability suffering from the 
same terrible wasting disease. 

Shortly after their arrival, a careful survey was held on 
the old and crazy ship by a board of competent officers, 
specially selected and appointed by the Governor; the 
result being that she was found to be in such an unsea- 
worthy and rotten state that she was reported to be 
"not worth repairing in any country,"^ also, that it was 
absolutely impossible to " put her in a state for going to 
sea," with the facilities for repairing ships then existing 
at Port Jackson. She was found to be incapable of 
further service, and it was strongly represented by the 
board to the authorities, that in the event of her being 

1 Extract from the report of the board ordered to survey the Invet- 
tiffotor relative to her sea-worthinew. 





caught at sea in a hard gale of wind, she would inevit- 
ably go to the bottom. 

Under these circumstances, and after numerous con- 
sultations, it was eventually arranged that the old 
Investigator should be abandoned, and converted into 
a storehouse hulk, and that Captain Flinders, with a 
portion of his officers and crew, should be sent home as 
passengers in the armed vessel Porpoise^ in order to 
report the facts of the case to the Admiralty, and 
endeavour to obtain another vessel in which to continue 
the exploration of the coast of Australia. 

Twenty-two officers and men, in which number Frank- 
lin was included, embarked with Flinders on board the 
Porpoise for passage to England. This was all that re- 
mained out of a complement of eighty officers and men 
that sailed from England in the Investigator only two 
years before. This alarming reduction was not, how- 
ever, due to deaths alone, for many were invalided, 
while some few were permitted, at their own request, 
to remain out and settle in the new colony. Franklin 
was discharged as a midshipman to the Porpoise^ and 
was entered on her books as a master's-mate on 21st 
July 1803. 





1 803- 1 804. 

'* I am as a weed 
Flung from the rock on ocean's foam to sail, 
Where'er the surge may sweep, the tempest breath prevail." 

— Childe Harold. 

The Poriwise^ under the command of Mr. Fowler, late 
first lieutenant of the Investigator, sailed from Sydney 
on the nth of August 1803. Although she was nomi- 
nally under the command of Lieutenant Fowler, that 
officer was directed to conform to the wishes and orders 
of Captain Flinders, who, though a passenger, was really 
in absolute charge. 

Flinders decided upon returning to England by the 
route which, it may be said, he was the first to discover 
and to recognise its practicability, namely, by Torres 
Strait, for he would then, he thought, be afforded an 
opportunity of checking, and perhaps elaborating, a 
great deal of the work that he had already accomphshed 
in those waters whilst in command of the Investigator. 

On leaving Sydney, the Porpoise was accompanied by 

the East India Company's ship BridgewateTf and by the 

ship Cato of London, both bound to Batavia, the captains 

of those vessels having expressed a wish to be piloted 






through Torres Strait by Captain Flinders. All went 
as "pleasant as a marriage-bell" until the evening of 
the 17th August, six days after leaving Port Jackson, 
when the terrible cry of "Breakers ahead!" resounded 
throughout the ship, and brought everybouy on deck. 
The helm was at once put down, too late, however, to 
save the ill-fated ship from destruction, for she struck 
heavily on an unknown reef, the masts went by the 
board, and falling over on her beam ends, she lay 
exposed to the fury of the waves, which broke over 
her mastless hull with irresistible violence. Before 
any warning of the appalling disaster that had so sud- 
denly, and so unexpectedly, overwhelmed the unfortunate 
Porpoise could be given to her consorts, the CatOy fol- 
lowing closely at the distance only of a couple of cables, 
struck on the same reef ; her masts broke short oflF, she 
fell over on her broadside, and soon became a total 

The Biiclgeicaier escaped, but, incredible as it may 
appear, made no effort to rescue or to render any assist- 
ance whatever to the crews of her unfortunate consorts, 
although she remained in close promixity to the reef for 
a period of twenty-four hours, when she heai-tlessly pro- 
ceeded on her voyage to Batavia. That those on board 
must have been fully cognizant of the perilous situation 
of their unfortunate friends in the wrecked ships is 
evident, from the fact that on her arrival at Bombay, 
the captain of the Bridgewater reported the total loss 
of the two ships with all hands ! It may not be out 
of place to note here that this ship, with the same 
dastardly captain, sailed from Bombay a few days after 
her arrival there on her homeward voyage, and was 
never afterwards heard of. Thus the sellishness and 




inhumanity of the captain and those on board, met with 
speedy and retributive justice. 

The night that followed the disastrous stranding of 
the Porpoise was one of intense anxiety and suspense 
to all on board, and was spent in strenuous endeavours 
to construct a raft, out of the available masts and yards 
and other spars, capable of receiving the crew, in the 
not unimprobable event of the ship going to pieces 
before the morning. This was a new, and by no means 
pleasant, experience for John Franklin. Althoiigh so 
young in years — for he was only seventeen at the time 
of the catastrophe — he had braved many dangers and 
had encountered many perils ; but this was the first 
time he had been brought face to face with shipwreck, 
and in one of its worst and most dreadful forms. 

When, at length, the long-wished-for daylight broke, 

and that 

" Miserable night, 
So full of fearful dreama," 

had passed, they observed a dry sandbank about half 
a mile from the wreck. Although its superficial extent 
was not veiy great, it was, at any rate, large enough to 
accommodate the crews of the two ships, with as much 
of the provisions and stores as they hoped to be able 
to save. 

The wretched people in the Caio were even in a worse 
plight than those on board the Porpoise^ for the fore- 
castle with the bowsprit attached, was the only portion 
of the vessel that remained above water, and to this the 
unfortunate crew had clung all that loi.r and weary 
night, until rescued in the morning from their perilous 
and distressing condition by a boat from the Porpoise. 




The only place to which they could secure themselves, 
and avoid being washed away by the raging surf, was 
the port fore-chains. In this trying situation, clinging 
to the wreck and holding on by the chain-plates and 
dead-eyes, they passed the night, and were found all 
clustered together in the morning. In consequence of 
the terrific sea that was breaking over the wreck, it was 
impossible to take the boat alongside to effect their 
rescue, and the men were only saved by throwing them- 
selves into the water, trusting to those in the boat 
to pick them up. Three poor lads were drowned in 
unsuccessful attempts to reach the boat, and all were 
more or less bruised and cut by the sharp points and 
edges of the coral reef in their struggles to get on 

In a few hours after the men were landed the Cato 
went to pieces, and not a vestige of her remained visible. 
Unlike this ship, the Porpoise had, luckily, when she 
struck, heeled over with her upper deck towards the 
reef, which was to leeward, thus exposing the hull of 
the ship instead of the deck to the violence of the waves 
that broke over and against her, and this being stronger 
and more capable of resistance, she held together. The 
reef, the direct cause of their disaster, was fortunately 
nearly dry at low-water, so they had but little difficulty 
in landing all the available stores and provisions, besides 
a few sheep and pigs that had escaped drowning. The 
bank on which they had been wrecked proved to be 900 
feet in length by 150 feet broad, and was about three 
or four feet above high- water ; not a very extensive or 
comfortable place of residence, more especially when it 
is remembered that the nearest known land was quite 
200 miles distant, and that Sydney, the only place from 





which they could hope to obtain succour or assistance, 
was about 750 miles off. They were, however, for the 
time in comparative safety; they had escaped a great 
peril, and, like good sailors, they looked forward with 
hope and trust to the future. It does not even appear 
that they were at all down-hearted or depressed at the 
appalling catastrophe that had overtaken them, for a 
great deal of merriment, we are informed, was caused 
by some of the CaMs men, who had saved absolutely 
nothing from their ship, attiring themselves in officers' 
uniforms that had been saved and landed from the 

Their first work was to set up a tall spar on the 
highest part of the bank, on which a large blue ensign 
was hoisted, with the Union Jack down, as a signal of 
distress. This was done in the hope of attracting the 
notice of those on board the Briihjewater, which, it was 
still believed, would come to their assistance directly it 
was known that survivors had escaped from the wrecks 
and had reached the bank. They knew very well it was 
hopeless to expect aid from any other source, for in 
those unfrequented seas it was not probable that any 
ship would be cruising in the neighbourhood. 

Franklin, it may readily be supposed, experienced his 
full share of all the dangers and privations to which he 
and his shipwrecked companions were exposed, and there 
is but little doubt that he bore himself bravely and 
manfully, and worked willingly and zealously in assist- 
ing to preserve order, and to maintain cheerfulness and 
good feeling in the small community. With the aid 
of sails and spars saved from the wreck, tents were 
erected on the sandbank, and they succeeded in making 
themselves as comfoitable and as happy as, under the 




circumstances, could be expected. A reprieved convict, 
who formed one of the crew, was alone guilty of mani- 
festing a spirit of insubordination, but this was quickly 
and effectually suppressed by the culprit being publicly 
flogged at the flag-staff. Strict discipline and a due 
obedience to orders were almost essential to their ulti- 
mate salvation. 

By the 23rd of August, everything that could be saved 


was landed from the wreck; an inventory was then 
taken, when it was found that they had sufiicient water 
and provisions to last, with care and economy, the 
ninety- four survivors for a period of three months. All 
the books and most important documents, as also the 
charts and plans thut had been made during the past 
two years in the Investigator^ were fortunately saved, 




although somewhat damaged by rough usage and salt 

Having taken all the necessary steps for the preserva- 
tion of the stores, &c., a council of officers was called, in 
order to consider what action should be taken for the 
purpose of obtaining relief. After much consideration, 
it was decided that one of the six-oared cutters saved 
from the Porpoise, should be despatched to Sydney with 
as little delay as possible, to give information relative 
to their situation and to endeavour to obtain assistance. 
As an extra precaution, and as they could not conceal 
from themselves the more than possible contingency of 
such a small boat failing to accomplish the distance 
(750 miles) in safety, more especially at that particular 
season of the year, when strong winds were prevalent, 
it was resolved to commence, from materials saved from 
the wrecks, the construction of a couple of decked boats, 
capable of transporting the remainder of the people. 
This decision being arrived at, the next question was 
to decide as to who should be selected to conduct the 
voyage to Sydney. As it was one of the utmost import- 
ance, and also one of no little peril. Captain Flinders 
determined to proceed on this duty himself. Acting on 
this resolve, and accompanied by the commander of the 
Cato and twelve men, with his small boat stored with 
provisions and water to last for three weeks, he sailed 
on the 26th leaving eighty officers and men on the bank, 

1 Some of the original drawings and sketches made by Mr. Westall 
are still in existence, and are now in the possession of the Royal Colonial 
In<ititute in London. They bear evidence of the damage they then 
sustained from immersion, and some few show slight indentations, 
caused, it is said, by Franklin and the other midshipmen thought- 
lessly driving the sheep saved from the wreck over them, as they were 
spread out to dry on the saud ! 




which had so providentially been the means of their 
salvation after their vessels had been destroyed. 

It is hardly possible to conceive the feelings that 
animated the breasts of those poor fellows who were 
left behind, and wno were well aware that several weeks 
must necessarily elapse before they could expect, or even 
hope, to obtain succour. They could not banish from 
their thoughts the possibility, almost amounting to a 
probability, of the loss of the small frail boat whose 
occupants they had just bidden God-speed, as they 
started on their long and venturesome voyage. In order to 
prepare for the worst, and also, perhaps, with the object 
of occupying the minds of the men and thus drown their 
thoughts in employment, they were set to work to build 
two boats, which, as a dernier ressoii, were intended 
to transport them to the mainland of Australia, in the 
event of no tidings of the cutter being received in two 
months ; by that time their provisions and water would 
be nearly expended, for, as has already been stated, 
they had only saved sufficient from the wreck to eke out 
a bare subsistence for three months. In spite, however, 
of their critical situation, the utmost harmony prevailed, 
and all worked cheerily together, having a common end 
in view. At length, on the yth of October, when they 
were already beginning to despair and to give up all 
hope of obtaining that help which they so sorely needed, 
the joyful cry of a " Sail in sight " burst upon the ears 
of the little community, and aroused its members to a 
state of enthusiastic excitement, as they rushed out to 
satisfy themselves of the accuracy or otherwise of the 

Yes ! there was no doubt of its truth, for there, on 
the horizon, as they strained their eyes to seaward, one, 




tvvo, three sails could be seen making their way, with a 
favourable breeze, towards their island-home. In a very 
short time they had the extreme satisfaction, and grati- 
fication, of greeting, which they did most sincerely and 
heartily, their old commander, who had brought his 
perilous voyage to such a successful and expeditious 
issue, having returned to their aid and succour only six 
weeks after he had bidden them farewell. 

His voyage in the six- oared cutter, for a distance of 
750 miles, had been an extremely hazardous one; but 
Flinders, by constant care and watchfulness, succeeded in 
reaching Port Jackson in safety. Doubtless his early 
experiences in the little Tom Thumb stood him in good 
stead during this voyage. Immediately on his arrival 
at Sydney, and the tidings of the disaster becoming 
known, the necessary arrangements for the relief of the 
shipwrecked men were made, three ships being at once 
despatched on this service. They were the Rolla, bound 
to Canton, and the two Government schooners Cumber- 
land and Frances. The captain of the first- named ship 
had generously volunteered to accompany Flinders, who 
was on the point of sailing with the two schooners only, 
and he voluntarily agreed to call at the reef on his way to 
China, so as to convey the majority of the shipwrecked 
people to Canton, where they would have no difficulty, 
it was thought, in finding some homeward-bound India- 
man, in which they could obtain a passage to England. 

It is needless to say that but little time was lost in 
getting away from the scene of their unfortunate adven- 
ture. Everything being ready by the nth, and all the 
stores worth saving having been embarked, the three 
ships took their departure from the reef. The Frances 
returned to Sydney with those officers and men who 



were desirous of settling in that colony ; the Cumber- 
land, with Captain Flinders, two officers, and eight men, 
sailed direct to England vid Torres Strait, Mauritius, 
and the Cape of Good Hope ; while Lieutenants Fowler 
and Flinders, with the remainder of the officers and 
crews of the Porpoise and Cato (including John Frank- 
lin), embarked on board the Holla for passage to China. 

Captain Flinders elected to return to England in the 
Cumherland, as he was anxious to get home as soon as 
possible, in order to report his discoveries, and to pre- 
pare his notes and charts with a view to publication. 
On his way home he touched at Mauritius for water and 
provisions, when he was made a prisoner of war and his 
vessel seized by the Fre»ich Governor. This act was 
a direct infringement of international law, and con- 
traiy to the established and recognised usages of civi- 
lised nations, for it has always been held that marine 
surveyors, and scientiflc expeditions of all descrip- 
tions, whose work is of importance, not only to the 
nation that employs them, but also to mankind in 
general, are invariably specially exempted from capture, 
or detention, in time of war. To the discredit of the 
French nation. Captain Flinders, although he was in 
possession of a passport from the First Consul, was not 
only made a prisoner, but he was detained on the island 
for a period of no less than six and a half years I 

On his liberation and return to England, he wrote the 
narrative of his memorable voyage, and, sick at heart 
and weary at the unjust treatment he had received, died 
on 19th July 1 8 14, on the very day that his work, 
recording the labours of his life, was published. 

Under the command of such a man as Flinders, an 
officer who possessed high scientific attainments, combined 




with the practical knowledge of a skilful seaman, and with 
whose professional pursuits he was closely connected for 
a period of over two years, it is not surprising that 
Franklin, although a very young officer, acquired during 
his service in the Investigator a thorough knowledge of 
a sailor's work, and was rapidly becoming an experienced 

The Rolla, with Franklin and his companions on 
board, in due course of time reached Canton. Here 
they fortunately found a large squadron of Indiamen 
on the point of sailing for England, under the command 
of Commodore Nathaniel Dance of the Honourable East 
India Company's service. No difficulty was experienced 
in obtaining a passage home for the officers and men of 
the Investigator^ who were distributed among the different 
vessels composing the squadron ; Franklin, with his late 
first lieutenant and commander, Mr. Fowler, being 
appointed to the Earl Camden^ which flew the broad 
pendant of Commodore Dance. 

The squadron consisted of the following ships : — 

Earl Camden. Earl of Ahergai^enny. 

Royal George. Henry Addington. 

Warley. Bombay Castle. 

Coutts. Cumberland. 

Alfred. Hope. 

Wexford. Dorsetshire. 

Ganges. Warreii Hastings. 

Exeter. Ocean. 

These vessels were all over a thousand tons burtheni 
and carried from thirty to thirty-six guns, the majority, 
however, being of light calibre. Their hulls were 
painted in imitation of line-of-battle ships and frigates, 
the more easily to deceive the enemy's cruisers and 



privateers, that were continually on the watch, ready 
to pounce upon, and snap up, any fat rich Indiaman that 
might fall into their clutches. Being merchant ships, 
they were, of course, very much under- manned for 
fighting purposes, no ship having more than about 140 
men in her crew, the greater proportion of which were 
Lascars and Chinamen. The arrival and subsequent 
distribution of the shipwrecked crews of the Porpoise 
and CatOf all stalwart and well-disciplined men, must 
have been a welcome addition to the somewhat weak and 
inferior crews of the Indiamen. 

This large squadron, laden with the rich wares and 
merchandise of China and Jspan, was accompanied by 
about twenty other, though umaller, country ships. 
They sailed from Canton on the 31st Januaiy 1804. 
No event of importance happened until the 14th of the 
following month, when, as they were entering the Straits 
of Malacca, near the island of Pulo Aor, some strange 
vessels were reported in sight from the masthead. These 
were soon made out to be a French squadron under the 
command of Admiral Linois, consisting of the line-of< 
battle ship Marengo of seventy-four guns, two large 
frigates, a twenty-two-gun corvette, and a sixteen-gun 
brig. The French admiral having received intimation 
of the sailing of the Indiamen, had put to sea from 
Batavia, with the intention of intercepting them, and, 
as he. hoped, swelling the coffers of France with the rich 
spoils he made sure he was about to capture. 

But Admiral Linois had reckoned without his host, 
for, in his calculations, he had not given sturdy Nathaniel 
Dance credit for opposing, much less for defeating, the 
strong force he had under his command. 

Immediately the French sighted the ships they were 




in search of, thoy boro down in hot pursuit ; but instead 
of seeing the English merchant ships crowd on all sail to 
escape, as they not unnaturally expected, they observed 
them form in order of battle in perfect regularity and 
make the necessary preparation.s, not only for resisting, 
but also for acting on the offensive. The b«^)ld front 
shown by the English somewhat perplexed the French 
admiral, and as the day was waning, he hauled to the 
wind, and stood off to some distance, preferring to wait 
for daylight before commencing hostile operations. 

The English ships, all well under command, lay-to 
for the night in order of battle, the brave Commodore 
scorning to tuke advantage of the darkness to endeavour 
to effect an escape. Admiral Linois was so deceived by 
the confident fro:.t shown by the English, that he felt con- 
vinced the squadron was partly composed of men-of-war, 
and under this impression he hesitated to attack on the 
following morning. Observing the hesitancy on the 
part of the French Admiral, Commodore Dance made 
the signal for his squadron to continue their couree under 
easy sail. Seeing his opportunity, Linois also made 
sail and advanced with the object of endeavouring to 
cut off some of the rear ships of the British squadron. 
But Dance was fully equal to the occasion, and 'heing 
determined to keep his squadron intact, he instantly 
ran up the signal, '*Tack in succession, bear down in 
line ahead, and engage the enemy." This plucky signal 
was, as may be imagined, received with ringing cheers 
by the crews of the English ships, and. to the astonish- 
ment of the French admiral, he soon had the whole 
British squadron standing towards him in a formidable 
and resolute line of battle. 

It must indeed have been a wonderful sight to see a 

'1,111 i^mpipii, III 
















fleet of merchant ships steadily advancing, with a bold 
undaunted front, to the attack of a hostile squadron 
composed of smart and efficient men of war, and com- 
manded by one of the most talented and dashing 
admirals in the French navy. Young Franklin had 
smelt powder at Copenhagen ; he had subsequently ex- 
perienced many perils and dangers both by sea and 
land ; his brief professional career had been an adven- 
turous one, but on this occasion, when he hoisted the 
signal, by the direction of the brave old Commodore, to 
"engage the enemy" (for he was doing duty as signal- 
midshipman on board the Camden throughout that event- 
ful day), his bosom must have swelled with pride, and 
his face flushed with a glow of enthusiasm and Lriumph 
when he reflected — if he had time for reflection — -that 
he was fortunate enough to be one of those few destined 
to fUy a part in such a gallant aflfair. 

After the action had lasted a little more than three- 
quarters of an hour, the French ceased firing, having 
had enough of it, and made sail away. Instantly the 
gallant Dance threw out the signal for a "general chase;" 
and then was seen the extraordinary spectacle of a French 
squadron of men-of-war, commanded by an undoubtedly 
brave and most distinguished officer, retreating in hot 
haste, and some confusion, before a fleet of English 
armed merchant ships ! Having pursued the flying 
Frenchmen for upwards of two hours, and having fully 
upheld the honour, dignity and credit of the British 
flag, and also, doubtless, considering the safety of the 
valuable merchandise committed to his charge, the 
Commodore recalled his chasing ships, reformed his 
squadron, and proceeded on his homeward course, and 
was not again molested by the valiant Frenchman. 




Thifl action fought by Commodore Dance stands out 
almost unparalleled for skill and daring among the 
numerous gallant deeds at sea that were constantly 
being performed in those days. 

Admiral Linois candidly acknowledged his defeat, 
ascribing it to the superiority of the opposing force, 
little thinking that the squadron with which he had 
been engaged was composed only of merchant vessels ! 
He also admitted that he was pursued by the English 
ships for three hours, during which time, he states, they 
discharged "several ineffective broadsides " at him. 

The promptness and decision of Commodore Dance, 
combined with his boldness and the galla.ntry of those 
who served under him, without doubt, saved from capture 
the rich and valuable fleet that was intrusted to his 
care. On the arrival of the ships in England, the Com- 
modore received at the hands of his sovereign the well- 
merited honour of knighthood, while other rewards and 
honours, of a more substantial character, were deservedly 
bestowed on him and his brave companions in arms. 

The voyage having terminated, Franklin was discharged 
from the Earl Camden on the 7th of August 1804, and, 
after an absence of a little more than three years, he 
had the inexpressible pleasure of returning home, and 
once more rejoining the family circle, and of visiting his 
old fiiends at Spilsby. 





•* War, he sung, is toil and trouble, 
Honour but an empty bubble." — Drtden. 

On the day following his discharge from the Earl 

Camden, Franklin was appointed to the BeUerophoUf 

commanded by Captain Loring; but as she did not 

arrive from the West Indies until two days after his 

appointment was dated, and as he does not appear to 

have joined her until the 20th of the following month, 

we may assume that he spent the intermediate time 

with his friends on a well-earned leave. 

He first appears on the books of the Bellerophon, as 

an A.B., and then cs a midshipman. In those days, 

it was not an uncommon occurrence for a young officer 

to be entered on the books of a ship, if there was no 

vacancy for a midshipman, with the rating of one of the 

ship's company, with the object of enabling him to 

continue to count his time in the navy. This was 

presumably the reason why his name is shown on the 

ship's books with the rating of A.B. Franklin, it must 

be acknowledged, had enjoyed but a short leave after his 

long and adventurous service in Australia before he was 






appointed to a ship ; but in those times the ofiicers of 
the navy were in constant requisition. England re- 
quired their services, and there was but little half-pay 
for her sons, and less leave. 

The duty on which the Bellerophon was engaged 
was the blockade of the French fleet in the harbour 
of Brest, and this was rigidly maintained during the 
whole winter by the squadron under the command of 
Lord Gollingwood ; this service was a new experience to 
our young friend. On the 24th of April 1805, Captain 
Loring was relieved in the command of the Bellerophon 
by Captain John Cooke, and on the 29th September, of 
the same year, Lord Nelson joined the fleet in the Vic- 
tory, and took over the command from Lord Collingwood. 

On the ever-memorable 21st of October, Franklin 
was signal-midshipman of the Bellerophon, and was, in 
all probability, the officer who saw, and perhaps reported 
to his captain, Nelson's celebrated signal All who have 
read the account of the battle of Trafalgar will remember 
the prominent part that was played in that action by the 
Bellerophon, and how, at the end of that glorious day, 
she had to mourn the loss of her brave captain, the 
master, one midshipman, and twenty-five men killed ; 
while her captain of uiarines, boatswain, one master's- 
mate, four midshipm •, and 120 men were returned as 
wounded. No less than six of Franklin's messmates were 
rendered hors de comhat during that eventful struggle, 
but his ship had emerged from it covered with glory, and 
many of the hostile vessels could vouch for the hard 
knocks and rough treatment they received, from the 
stout old seventy- four. Franklin was himself noted for 
"evincing very conspicuous zeal and activity" during 
that glorious day. He was stationed during the fight 




on the poop, and was one, out of only four or five, in 
that particular part of the ship who escaped unhurt. It 
was well said of him that " he was in battle fearless and 
in danger brave." 

The following is an extract from the official log of 
the Bdlerophon on the day of the battle, which may prove 
interesting : — 

"Ten minutes past noon, the Royal Sovereign oponed fire 
on the enemy's centre. At thirteen minutes past noon, an- 
swered the general signal i6. At twenty minutes the Iioy<tl 
Sovereign broke through enemy's l:ne astern of a Spanish 
three-decker. 12.20 opened fire on the enemy. At 12.30 
engaging on both sides in passing through the enemy's line 
astern of a Spanisli two-decker. At thirty-tive minutes, while 
hauling to tlie wind, fell on board the French two-decked 
fliip L'Aigkf with our starboai-d l)ow on her starboard quarter ; 
our fore-yard lockin,' with her main one. Kept up a brisk 
fire both on her and the Spanish ship on the larboard bow, 
at the same time receiving the fire of two ship.i, one astern, 
the other on the larboard quarter. At one o'clock the main 
and mizen to])mast8 fell over tlie side. At 1.5 tlie master 
fell. At I.I I Captain John Cooke fell. Still foul of tlic 
L'Aigle. The quarter-deck, poop, and forecastle being nearly 
cleared by troops on board L'Aigle. 1.40 VAigU dropped to 
leeward, under a raking fire from us as she fell off. At Oiree, 
took possession of the Simnisli ship El Monarca. Casualties, 
twenty-eight killed and 127 wounded." 

On the death of Captain Cooke, the first lieutenant, 
Mr. William Pryce-Cumby, took command of the ship, 
and fought her until the end of the action. He was 
relieved on the 4th November by Captain E. Rotliemm, 
who was Lord Collingwood's flag-captain in the Rnyal 

The Bdlerophon anchored in Plymouth Sound on the 





3rd December 1805 ; after making good the injuries sus- 
tained in the action, she was employed cruising between 
Finisterre and Ushant, with occasional visits to Plymouth, 
during the following eighteen months. 

On the 24th of October 1807, Mr. Franklin, with 46 
petty officers, no A.B.'s, and 92 ordinary seamen, were 
drafted from the Bellerophon to the Bedford of se\v>nty- 
four guns. Franklin was entered on the books as a 
master's-mate, but was made an acting lieutenant by 
order of Admiral Sir Sidney Smith on the following 5th 
of December j he was confirmed in that rank by their 
Lordships on the i ith February 1808. Prior to joining 
the Bedford^ Franklin received intelligence of the death 
of his eldest brother, Thomas Adams, who died at Spilsby, 
and was buried on the nth October 1807, aged thirty- 
four years. 

Leaving Cawsand Bay on the i ith of November 1807, 
the Bedford formed part of a large squadron that was 
employed cruising for some weeks off Lisbon ; she was 
afterwards engaged, in company with a squadron of 
Portuguese ships, in escorting the royal family of Por- 
tugal from Lisbon to Brazil, whither they fled for safety 
on the occasion of the invasion of Portugal by Marshal 
Junot. They reached Bio de Janeiro on the 7 th of 
March 1808. For the next two years the Bedford was 
stationed on the east coast of South America, but she 
returned to England in August 1810. From the latter 
end of that year until February 1813, she was employed 
with the fleet engaged in the unfortunate Walcheren ex- 
pedition and in the blockade of Flushing and the TexeL 

To a man of Franklin's energetic disposition, accus- 
tomed as he had been to service of a more exciting 
nature, this wearisome blockading, cruising in the North 




Sea, or at anchor on the seventeen-fathom bank in sight 
of the West Capel Church, with nothing to relieve the 
dull monotony, must have indeed been depressing. It 
was, however, excellent training for both officers and 
men ; the constant sea-work in a latitude where gales 
of wind and heavy squalls are not unfrequent, was a 
valuable experience that could not be otherwise than 
beneficial. It was during the time he was engaged on 
this service, that he received the melancholy news of the 
loss of his mother. She died and was buried at Spilsby 
on the 27th November 18 10, aged fifty-nine years. 

Early in 181 3, to the inexpressible relief and gratifica- 
tion of those on board, orders were received for the 
Bedford to convoy a fleet of merchant vessels to the West 
Indies, and she left Plymouth on this service on the 3rd 
April. Barbados was reached on the 23rd May, and 
after a short cruise among the beautiful islands of the 
West Indian group, she returned to England, arriving 
in the Downs on the 6th September 18 13. For the 
succeeding nine months the Bedford was stationed on 
her old cruising-ground off the Texel and Scheveningen, 
but in September 18 14 she was again sent with a con- 
voy across the Atlantic to the West Indies. Thence she 
proceeded to New Orleans, which was reached on the 
13th December, having been despatched in order to 
assist in the operations about to be undertaken against 
the Americans. 

An attack on New Orleans having been decided upon, 
it was deemed advisable to land the attacking force at 
the head of Lake Borgne ; but in order to do so, it was 
necessary to clear the lake of the enemy's gunboats 
that had assembled there in some force. This service 
Vice- Admiral Cochrane undertook to carry out with the 






naval force at his disposal. Accordingly a division of 
boats, containing about looo officers and men, belonging 
to the British ships that were stationed off New Orleans, 
left on the night of the 12th of December 18 14, under 
the command of Captain Nicholas Lockyer. Franklin 
was present on this occasion, and was probably in com- 
mand of a division, or subdivision, of the boats employed. 
On the forenoon of the following day, after a long and 
toilsome pull of thirty-six miles against a strong current, 
the enemy's gunboats were sighted, and a desperate 
attack was made on them, resulting in a complete victory 
for the British ; but it was dearly purchased, for so 
desperate was the resistance, that a loss was sustained 
on our side of three midshipmen and fourteen men 
killed, while Captain Lockyer, four lieutenants (includ- 
ing Franklin), one lieutenant of marines, three master's- 
mates, seven midshipmen (two mortally), and sixty-one 
men were wounded. The loss sustained by the Ameri- 
cans was slight in comparison. For this action Franklin 
received a medal, and was honourably mentioned in 

During the subsequent attack on New Orleans, 
Franklin, having partially recovered from his wound, 
assisted in conducting the indescribably arduous opera- 
tion of cutting a canal across the neck of land be- 
tween the Bayou Calatan and the Mississippi. For 
his conduct and gallant exertions on the morning of 
the 8th of January 18 15, on which occasion he com- 
manded a division of seamen under Captain Bowland 
Money ,1 when a large body of Americans strongly en- 

1 Captain Ro^rland Money was desperately wounded at this en- 
gagement, having both bones of his right leg shattered by a musket 
■hot as he stormed the battery. For his conspicuous bravery on this, 



trenched on the right bank of the river wjis defeated, 
he was officially and very warmly recommended for 
promotion. The Bedford sailed on her homeward 
voyage in March, and reached Spithead on the 30th 
May 1815. She was paid off on the 5th of July follow- 
ing. In spite of his long and uninterrupted service in 
the old seventy-four, extending over a period of nearly 
eight years in that ship, we find him two days after 
paying off the Bedford, appointed as fii-st lieutenant of 
the Forth, commanded by Captain Sir William Bolton. 
He joined her on the 9th July, and remained as first 
lieutenant until she was paid off on the following 2nd 
of September. 

During the short time that Franklin was in this ship, 
she was employed in conveying the Duchesso D'Angou- 
leme to Dieppe, having been specially prepared for the 
reception of Hei- Royal Highness. After paying off the 
Forth, Franklin was doomed for the succeeding three 
years to pass a period of professional inactivity. The 
peace of 181 5 necessitated a serious reduction in the 
navy, and several officers were consequently thrown out 
of employment. Franklin was, therefore, like many 
others, compelled to rusticate on half-pay, waiting for 
something to turn up. Ho was not, however, a man to 
lead a life of idleness; he thei-efore turned his attention 
to scientific pursuits, for which he had always evinced 
an inclination, and which, he thought, would afford fuller 
Bcopo for his talents. 

and other occasions, he wai itrnngly recommended for promotion by 
Sir Alexander Cochrane. He was sent Lowe with despatches, was 
posted, and made a CB. 



' .^ 




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WEBSTER, N.Y. 14580 

(716) 872-4503 



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1607-1 773. 

" Oh, who can tell, save he whose heart hath tried, 
And danced in triumph o'er the waters wide, 
The exulting sense, the pulse's maddening play, 
That thrills the wanderer of that trackless way ? '' 

— The Corsair. 

England in the year 1818 being at peace with all the 
world, had time to turn her thoughts to eminently peace- 
ful pursuits, and to employ her men and money on equally 
glorious, and perhaps more 'mportant, matters than war. 

Among other subjects, that of geographical discovery 
was discussed, and the encouragement of Arctic explora- 
tion which had been allowed to slumber since the unsuc- 
cessful attempt of Captain Phipps to reach the North 
Pole in 1773, was again revived. 

Foremost among the promoters of geographical re- 
search in high latitudes at this time was Sir John 
Barrow, the Secretary of the Admiralty. This ardent 
and zealous geographer had very carefully, and with 
masterly skill and ability, after much tedious research, 
collected all the reports that had been received 
during the early part of the century, bearing on the 

condition and the locality of the ice in high northern 



ivr TH- 




JEn^Ush Milts. 

PhJUp Jt Son. 


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1a-' '.'"i*? ■ ,^i't'' 


-■:'''•■ i. '-- (--■■■ 




latitudes. With this information as a basis, he drew 
out an elaborate and well-prepared scheme for the ex- 
ploration of the northern regiona His plan being 
warmly supported by the President and Council of the 
Royal Society, also met with the approval of the Board 
of Admiralty. So well was the idea received by the 
public, that it was finally entertained and approved by 
the Government, who resolved, forthwith, to despatch two 
expeditions, one with the object of endeavouring to dis- 
cover a north-west passage round the northern continent 
of America ; the other for the purpose of attempting to 
reach the North Pole. 

One of the principal reasons that led to the organi- 
sation and despatch of these expeditions, was the very 
favourable reports brought home by the whalers in 
1817, regarding the state and quantity of the ice in 
the Spitzbergen and Greenland seas ; and also perhaps 
to the writings of, and arguments advanced by, the two 
Scoresbys, father and son, two of the most expe- 
rienced, skilful, and talented whaling captains that our 
country has ever produced. It was also reported that 
during the preceding three years, large quantities of 
heavy polar ice had drifted down from the north to un- 
usually low latitudes; and in 181 7, the hitherto almost 
inaccessible eastern coast of Greenland, it was stated, 
had been actually visited by whale-ships between the 
70th and 80th parallels of latitude, while the inter- 
mediate sea between Greenland and Spitzbergen had 
been reported as comparatively free of ica It was, 
therefore, considered to be a particularly favourable time 
to undertake exploration in those waters. 

It may be of interest here to note, that in 1745 an 
Act of Parliament was passed, offering a reward of 




;;^2o,ooo " to such person or persons who shall discover 
a north-west passage through Hudson's Strait to the 
western and southern oceans of America." In the year 
1776 a sum of ;^5ooo was offered by the English 
Government to the first person who should reach the 
89th parallel of latitude. In 18 18, when it was decided 
to despatch the two expeditions just alluded to, pro- 
portionate rewards were offered by Act of Parliament 
for the different degrees of latitude reached. Thus, any 
vessel that first succeeded in reaching the 83rd parallel 
would be entitled to a reward of ;^iooo; double that 
sum would be granted for crossing the 85th parallel; 
;;^3ooo to any vessel, or person, that should reach 87° 
N. ; ;^4ooo for the 88th parallel; and ;^500o for the 
Pole. ;^5ooo was also offered to the first ship that 
should cross the iioth west meridian of longitude, north 
of America. 1 

These large rewards were offered as incentives to 
whaling captains and others, who might be tempted, by 
the chance of gaining them, to push northwards through 
the ice, and so increase the limited knowledge we then 
possessed of the northern portion of our globe. 

The command of the expedition that was to be sent 
in quest of a north-west passage was conferred on Lieu- 
tenant John Ross, who was ably seconded by that prince 
of Arctic navigators, Lieutenant, afterwards Sir Edward 
Parry, The doings of this expedition will not, however, 
occupy any part of this history. 

The command of the expedition that it was decided to 
send to the North Pole, was intrusted to Commander 

1 This reward was actually claimed by, and paid to, Lieutenants 
Parry and Liddon, who succeeded in crossing the iioth meridian in 
the discovery-ships Hecla and Oriper in 1819, 


David Buchan, and Lieutenant John Franklin was the 
officer selected as his second in command. 

Perhaps it will be as well here to give a brief retro- 
spect of the geographical work that had already been 
accomplished in the direction towards which one of the 
new expeditions — and the one in which we are more 
particularly interested — was ordered to proceed. Setting 
aside all the mythical and unauthenticated stories of 
voyages, that are reported to have been made with the 
object of discovering a short route to China and Japan 
in a high northern latitude, we start with the voyage 
of Henry Hudson, which, for skill and daring, stands 
out conspicuously among the many brilliant and fearless 
maritime achievements, for which the sixteenth and seven- 
teenth centuries are so pre-eminently distinguished. 

This bold navigator sailed from Gravesend on the ist 
of May 1607, in what in those days was called a " cock- 
boat," named the Hopewell, with a crew consisting of 
ten men and a boy. This was the scale on which Arctic 
expeditions in the early part of the seventeenth century 
were equipped ! Hudson's orders were to proceed to 
India by sailing across the North Pole ; and, with his 
mind fully made up to act in accordance with the letter 
of his instructions, he confidently started. Stretching 
across towards Greenland, and sighting that mysterious 
continent, he steered along its eastern coast in a northerly 
direction, with, apparently, but little hindrance from 
ice. Having reached the latitude of 73° N., he named 
the land then in sight " Hold with Hope," as he was 
then hopeful of success ; but being prevented from 
making any further progress northwards by the heavy 
masses of ice he encountered along the coast, he shaped 
a course to the north-east, and stood over towards 





Spitzbergen,^ which he sighted on the 27th June in 
latitude 77**, apparently in the neighbourhood of the 
Vogel Sang Hoek of Barents ; but the sea was much 
encompassed by ice, and he experienced great diflSculty 
in pushing on. Subsequently he sighted and named 
Hakluyt Headland, the north-west point of Spitzbergen, 
a name it still bears. 

The highest latitude reached by Hudson during 
this enterprising voyage, was about 80° 30' N. on the 
1 6th of July, probably oflF that portion of the coast of 
Spitzbergen, which is separated from North-East Island 
by Hinlopen Strait. After again examining the sea 
between Spitzbergen and Greenland, and finding it 
impassable to the north, in consequence of a barrier of 
heavy ice stretching across in every direction in which he 
sought to penetrate it, Hudson determined upon return- 
ing to England. He reached the Thames in safety on 
the 15 th of September, after a voyage which, for fear- 
lessness and audacity, has no equal on record. The 
results of this expedition were, from a geographical point 
of view, eminently satisfactory, for Hudson had suc- 
ceeded, in his frail and poorly equipped little craft, in 
not only discovering portions of the coasts of Greenland 
and Spitzbergen hitherto unknown, but he had also 
navigated his little vessel to a position in a higher 
northern latitude than had ever before been reached. 
This high position was not surpassed, or even equalled, 
for more than 160 years, when Captain Phipps in 1773 
succeeded in reaching the latitude of 80° 48' to the north 
of Spitzbargen. 

From a commercial point of view, Hudson's voyage 

^ Spitzbergen was discovered by the celebrated Dutch Arctic 
tiavigator William Barents in 1596. 



must always be regarded as a great success, for the 
report that he made of the numerous wliales and wal- 
ruses he had seen, led to the establishment of that lucra- 
tive and prosperous fishery which has, with varying 
success, been prosecuted to the present day. The east 
coast of Greenland, discovered by Hudson, was not again 
visited by any known navigator for the space of 200 
years, when Scoresby, an energetic and enterprising 
whaling captain, taking advantage of an unusual opening 
in the ice, sailed his ship through the pack, and thus 
succeeded in rediscovering that coast which had, for so 
long, been as a sealed book to navigators. 

Three years after the return of Hudson, Captain 
Jonas Poole was despatched by the Muscovy Company, 
in a vessel called the A?nUie, of seventy tons burthen, 
with directions to proceed to Spitzbergen, and to search 
for " the likelihood of a trade or passage that way." The 
crew of his ship consisted of fourteen men and boys. 
Poole was much hindered by ice and bad weather, but, 
in spite of these obstacles to navigation, he succeeded in 
making a fairly good survey of the west coast of Spitz- 
bergen, giving names to the most prominent capes, 
headlands, and bays. Failing in !his efforts to pene- 
trate to a high latitude, he returned to England in the 
end of August. He was again sent up the following 
year, with instructions to explore to the north of Spitz- 
bergen, and to report on the existence, or otherwise, of 
an open and navigable sea in that direction. This 
voyage was not purely geographical, but had also com- 
mercial interests in view, the capture of whales and 
seals being one of its chief objects. It returned to 
England, however, without achieving any great success, 
either geographically or pecuniarily. 




From this time the west and south coasts of Spitz- 
bergen were frequently, indeed almost annually, visited 
by ships of different nations, principally English and 
Dutch, in quest of whales, seals, and walruses; and 
although there was not, of course, any accurate survey, 
the coast-line was fairly well delineated on the charts of 
the day. The reports of these voyages, that are still 
extant, deal principally with matters relating to the 
valuable fishing industry that had then been established, 
and contain but little geographical information of im- 
poi'tance, either in connection with discovery, or with 
the state and locality of the ice. 

It ""vas not until the year 1773 that the English 
Government, at the instigation of Mr. Daines Barring- 
ton,^ decided upon sending an expedition for the purpose 
of ascertaining how far navigation was practicable in 
the direction of the North Pole. In this decision they 
received the warm support of the President and Council 
of the Royal Society. 

The ships selected for this expedition were the Race- 
horse and Carcass. They were what were then termed 
bomb-vessels, and being strongly constructed, were con- 
sidered the most suitable for the special service on which 
they were to be employed. The command of the ex- 
pedition was intrusted to Captain the Hon. Constantino 
Phipps (afterwards Lord Mulgrave), who hoisted his 
pendant in the Racehorse. Commander Lutwidge was 
appointed to the command of the Carcass, in which ship 
Horatio Nelson also served as a midshipman ; it was thus 
among the ice floes of the Arctic Seas that our great 

^ Mr. Banington was a son of Lord Barrington, and was brother of 
Admiral Samuel Barrington, who was a very distinguished naval 





naval hero received his first real training in a ship of 
war, and learnt how to combat with difficulties, and how 
successfully to overcome them. 

The two ships were thoroughly overhauled and pre- 
pared for the service on whicli they were to be engaged, 
and although of strong construction, they were addition- 
ally strengthened by a stout doubling of hard wood on 
the outside, to assist in resisting the pressure of the ice. 
The complement of each ship was twenty-two officers and 
seventy men. Captains Phipps and Lutwidge were offi- 
cers of great experience, and of known scientific attain- 
ments. The remainder of the officers were also specially 
selected, and a civilian, Mr. Israel Lyon, a gentleman 
of great mathematical reputation, was appointed, on the 
recommendation of the Board of Longitude, to the Race- 
?iorse in the capacity of astronomer. Stores and provisions 
of the very best quality were liberally supplied to the two 
ships, and they were each fitted with an apparatus for 
distilling fresh water, the invention of Mr. Irving, the 
surgeon of the Racehorse. This was probably the first 
time that water was procured in the Royal Navy by the 
condensation of steam. 

On the 23rd of May, the First Lord of the Admiralty,^ 
accompanied by the French Ambassador, paid the ships 
a visit, and on the 4th of the following month the ex- 
pedition sailed from Sheerness. 

The orders received by Captain Phipps were to the 
effect that he was, with the two ships under his com- 
mand, to proceed to the North Pole, or as close to it as 
ice and other obstructions would permit, as nearly as 
possible on the meridian of Greenwich. If successful 
in reaching the Pole, he was to return immediately and 
1 The Earl of Sandwich. 




report himself, and he was specially directed to be 
careful to make all necessary observations that would 
assist in improving navigation and promoting general 

On the 19th of June the Arctic Circle was crossed, 
and on the 28th the coast of Spitzbergen was sighted, 
which Captain Phipps describes as being formed of high 
barren black rocks, in many places bare and pointed, 
and in others covered with snow. No signs of vegeta- 
tion were visible. Continuing their course to the north- 
ward, the expedition skirted along the west coast of 
Spitzbergen, until, on the 4th of July, they cast anchor 
in Hamburg Cove, about three miles south of Magda- 
lena Bay. The weather, however, was exceedingly tem- 
pestuous, necessitating an immediate departure, without 
giving the officers an opportunity of exploring the coast 
in the vicinity, or of taking any magnetic or other 
observations. They were not even afforded time to re- 
plenish their tanks with water, which, in spite of the 
distilling apparatus, they were desirous of accomplishing. 
Proceeding northwards, they encountered an almost im- 
penetrable ice pack in the neighbourhood of Hakluyt 
Headland. They made many futile efforts to push 
through this pack, but always without success, although 
they skirted along it for many miles, running into every 
indentation, going round every point, and forcing the 
ships, by carrying a heavy press of sail, through the ice 
wherever it appeared to be loosely packed. The out- 
look was as cheerless and unpromising as could be well 
imagined, for to the northward, as far as they could see, 
appeared an unbroken frozen ocean, without water or 
any opening in the pack being visible. 

On the loth of July, after great toil and incessant 




labour, and not without severe buffetings from the ice, 
the latitude 80° 36' N. was reached on the 2nd meridian 
east of Greenwich. Four days after, the ships were 
compelled to seek shelter from a westerly gale in Fair 
Haven, where they remained until the evening of the 
18th. The officers, profiting by their stay, took a series 
of pendulum observations, and made a rough survey of 
the harbour and adjacent country. On the 25th, Moffin 
Island was visited. Thence the ships plied in a north- 
easterly direction, and on the 27 th were in latitude, by 
dead reckoning, 80° 48', and longitude 15° E., about due 
north of the central part of the Spitzbergen group. 
This was the most northern position reached by the 
expedition. Here their endeavours to prosecute further 
researches in a northerly direction were completely 
frustrated by a large solid pack, which not only defied 
their efforts to penetrate, but compelled them to retreat 
to the southward, so as to avoid being beset in the 
broken -up ice that is invariably encountered on the out- 
skirts of a large pack. 

On the 30th of July the ships were imprisoned in a 
pool of water, so surrounded by ice that it was impossible 
to escape out of it. The dimensions of this water-hole 
gradually diminished, until the vessels were completely 
beset by the ice, nor was any indication of water seen 
in any direction. The prospect of releasing the ships 
from their icy bondage being exceedingly problemntical, 
preparations were made for abandoning them, and the 
boats were ordered to be equipped with this object in 
view. Provisions and stores were hoisted up from below 
and apportioned to each boat, and the studding sails 
were cut up in order to make belts for the men to facili- 
tate the dragging of the boats over the ice. 






In the midst of all these preparations, the Carcass, 
driven by the erratic movements of the pack, was forced 
alongside the Eacehorse, and it required no small amount 
of exertion and labour, on the part of the officers and 
men of the two ships, to separate and subsequently 
secure the vessels in safety. The hazardous expedient 
of abandoning their ships was, happily, not resorted to, 
for on the loth August the ice suddenly loosened, and 
by noon on that day they had the indescribable gratifica- 
tion and relief of feeling, and knowing, that the peril 
was past. Captain Phipps being fully convinced that 
nothing further could be achieved that year in the way 
of exploration, wisely decided upon returning to England. 
Spitzbergen was left on the 19th August, and after 
sailing along the edge of the ice for a few days, the ships 
bore up for England, arriving at Orfordness on the 25th 
September, after a most tempestuous passage, during 
which they lost several boats, and had to throw two of 
their guns overboard. They were both paid out of 
comniission at Sheerness on the 13th of the following 

The results of this expedition were, geographically, 
unimportant ; its failure was generally attributed to the 
fact that the year was an extremely unfavourable one 
for exploration in high latitudes. The Admiralty, how- 
ever, to mark their appreciation of the way in which the 
work had been carried out by the expedition, promoted 
Commander Lutwidge of the Carcass to the rank of 
captain, and raised the first lieutenant of the Eacehorse 
to the rank of Commander. 




" High on the northern silence, speechless things 
Own the bare ice, and reign the Ocean's kings." 

— Paradise of Birds. 

David Buchan, who was selected to command the ex- 
pedition to be despatched in quest of the North Pole, 
was promoted to the rank of lieutenant on the 29th of 
January 1806 ; consequently he was only two ^ears 
senior, as a lieutenant, to Franklin. He had, however, 
prior to his appointment to the expedition, been raised 
to the rank of commander. He was an accomplished 
surveying oflGicer, and had done good work in mapping 
out the coast in the neighbourhood of Newfoundland. 

In 1 810, whilst in command of the schooner Adorns, 
he had been selected by Sir John Duckworth to conduct 
an exploring expedition into the interior of Newfound- 
land, a country in those days regarded as a complete 
ier7'a incognita. This service was satisfactorily accom- 
plished, in spite of the hostile attitude of the natives, 
who treacherously murdered two of his men. Whilst 
so employed he penetrated a distance of about 130 miles 
into the interior. His report of this journey is exceed- 
ingly interesting. 

The selection of Franklin, who was then a lieutenant 







of ten years* seniority, to command the second ship was, 
in all probability, due to the zeal and ability he had 
displayed as a young officer when serving under a navi- 
gator of such repute as Captain Flinders. The very 
fact that he had served his apprenticeship in the navy 
under so renowned and distinguished an officer, was 
almost, in itself, sufficient justification for his selection to 
such an important appointment, irrespective of his own 
personal qualifications, and the extraordinary aptitude 
for marine surveying and other scientific pursuits, that 
he had evinced as a young officer. Neither Buchan or 
Franklin, however, were experienced in ice navigation, 
although the former must have been able to form some 
idea of the difficulties of navigating a ship in the pack 
from his long service in Newfoundland waters. 

The vessels selected were the Dorothea^ a ship of 
370 tons, and the Tre^iy a brig of 250 tons. Buchan 
was given the command of the Dorothea, and Franklin 
was appointed, on the 14th January 181 8, as lieu- 
tenant in command of the Trent. The two ships had 
been specially built for the whale-fishery, in which 
they were engaged when chartered by the Government, 
but they were additionally strengthened and made as 
strong and durable as wood and iron could make them. 
The complement of the senior officer's ship was twelve 
officers and forty- three seamen and marines, while that 
of the Trent was only ten officers and twenty-eight men. 
A master and mate, experienced in the Greenland fishery, 
were appointed to each ship to act as pilots when in the 
ice. The ships were supplied with stores and provisions 
to last for an anticipated absence of two years, and both 
were carefully and thoroughly equipped for the impor- 
tant service on which they were to be engaged. 




It is much to be regretted that neither Commander 
Buchan or Lieutenant Franklin published any account 
of this expedition in which they took such leading and 
prominent parts ; the former omitted to do so, because 
he was of opinion that the voyage was not of sufficient 
importance to attract the notice and arouse the interest 
of the general public, and the latter had no leisure on 
his return to undertake the work. The only narrative 
of the expedition that appeared, was the one written 
by Captain Beechey (who was first lieutenant of the 
Trent with Franklin), and published in 1843, twenty- 
five years after the return of the expedition. It is 
mainly from this work that the following account has 
been compiled. 

Captain Buchan's instructions directed him to make 
the best of his way into the Spitzbergen seas, and then 
to endeavour to force his ships northward between 
Spitzbergen and Greenland, without stopping to visit 
the coast of either of those countries. The authorities 
at the Admiralty, advised most probably by the leading 
men of science of the day, were evidently impressed by 
the vague and unauthenticated reports that, from time 
to time, had cropped up relative to the marvellously 
high latitudes attained by the whalers, and other vessels 
engaged in the slaughter of oil-producing animals, in 
those regions; for in their official instructions they 
informed Captain Buchan that the sea, to the north- 
ward of Spitzbergen, had been generally found free from 
ice as far north as 83° 30' or 84° ! Therefore, they said, 
there is reason to expect that the sea may continue open 
still further to the northward, in which case Captain 
Buchan was directed to steer due north, and use his 
utmost efforts to reach the North Pole. 





If successful in doing so, he was ordered, if the weather 
was favourable, to remain for a few days in the vicinity 
of the Pole for the purpose of making observations, 
which, it was remarked, his interesting and unexampled 
situation might furnish him. After leaving the North 
Pole, he was directed to shape a course for Bering's Strait, 
or, if this was impracticable, he was to sail round the 
north end of Greenland and return home by Baffin's 
Bay and Davis's Strait. If unable to get to the Pole, 
he was told to direct his efforts solely to reaching 
Bering's Strait, and thus accomplish the long-sought- 
for, and frequently attempted, north-west passage. In 
the event of this being easily achieved, it was left to 
Captain Buchan's discretion to return by the same way, 
or to sail for England via Kamchatka and the Sandwich 
Islands. He was also told to arrange with Captain 
John Ross, who was in command of the expedition 
that was being despatched by Baffin's Bay in search 
of a north-west passage, to fix upon a preconcerted 
rendezvous, at which they should both meet in the 

The advancement of science, other than geographical 
research, was one of the chief aims of the expedition, 
and valuable instruments were therefore supplied to 
both ships for ascertaining the variation and inclination 
of the magnetic needle, the intensity of the magnetic 
force, and how far the needle would be affected by the 
presence of atmospherical electricity. Various astro- 
nomical and meteorological instruments were also pro- 
vided, as well as those for determining the direction and 
velocity of the tides and currents, deep-sea soundings, &c. 
Among the instruments supplied was a timepiece and 
pendulum, by the vibrations of which latter, in a given 




time, the form and figure of the earth was to be deter- 
mined. No care or expense was spared in the equip- 
ment of the vessels, and nothing that the commander 
asked for, which it was thought might promote the 
efficiency of the expedition, was refused. 

On the recommendation of the President and Council 
of the Royal Society, Mr. Fisher, a member of Cambridge 
University, and a gentleman well versed in mathematics 
and in other branches of natural science, was appointed 
to the Dorothea in the capacity of astronomer and 

The ships sailed out of the Thames on the 25th April 
1 818, and arrived at Lerwick, in the Shetland Islands, 
on the ist May. Here, in consequence of a serious leak 
that had developed itself on the passage, the Trent was 
beached at high-water, and subjected to a thorough 
examination. Several rents in the planks were dis- 
covered in various parts of the ship, and these were re- 
paired as well as the means at their disposal would 
permit, but the principal leak, unfortunately, remained 
undiscovered, in spite of the strenuous exertions that 
were made to find it. This was naturally very morti- 
fying to Franklin and his officers. The service on which 
they were about to engage was of such a nature as to 
preclude all but stout, well-built, and, above all, tight 
ships being engaged in it. It was therefore a serious 
matter to them that they should at the outset embark 
in a leaky vessel, more especially when the leak was of 
such magnitude as to necessitate the employment of the 
men during half their watches at the pumps to keep her 
free. This was, it must be acknowledged, a very dis- 
tressing state of affairs, and it was rendered all the more 
60 in a ship employed on Arctic service, where the men 




are kept, night and day, constantly at work, and where 
a vessel is so severely handled by the ice, and subjected 
to such great pressures as to make even those that are 
strongly built leak. 

Having done their utmost to remedy the defect, the 
expedition sailed from Lerwick on the loth May, and 
crossing the Arctic Circle a few days afterwards, they 
experienced the novelty of beholding the midnight sun, 
and of enjoying the hitherto unknown experience of con- 
tinual daylight. On the 24th, Cherie or Bear Island, 
as it is more frequently called, was sighted, and shortly 
afterwards the ships were separated in consequence of 
thick weather and a violent south-west gale. They met 
again, however, in a few days, a short distance from 
their previously arranged rendezvous, in Magdalena 

Prior to this temporary separation they were, for the 
first time, made acquainted with the difficulties and the 
novelty of navigating ^heir ships through a loose pack. 
Indeed, some of the streams of ice through which they 
had to thread their way, were of such a nature, that 
combined with the thickness of the weather, necessitated 
their laying-to until the latter should moderate. Their 
position at this time is thus referred to by the first 
lieutenant of the Trent : — 

" The weather was now very severe ; the snow fell in heavy 
showers, and several tons' weight of ice accumulated about 
the sides of the brig, and formed a complete casing to the 
planks, which received an additional layer at each plunge of 
the vessel. So great indeed was the accumulation about the 
bows, that we were obliged to cut it away repeatedly with 
axes, to relieve the bowsprit from the enormous weight that 
was attached to it ; and the ropes were so thickly covered 




with ice, that it was necessary to beat them with large sticks 
to keep them iv a state of readiness for any evolution that 
might be rendered necessary, either by the appearance of ice 
to leeward, or by a change of wind." 

Encountering what they had every reason to believe 
was the main body of the ice, extending in one vast un- 
broken plain along the northern horizon, and finding 
it absolutely impenetrable, it was determined to wait 
patiently for a few days in Magdalena Bay, so as to 
give the pack time to break up and disperse. A wise 
resolution, considering the early season of the year, 
namely June 3rd, at which they found themselves in 
such a comparatively high latitude. 

During the stay of the ships at this anchorage, the 
officers were very actively, and profitably, engaged in 
surveying the harbour, taking observations in various 
branches of science, shooting excursions, and, we may 
rest assured, in keeping a constant and vigilant watch 
on the movements of the pack, from some convenient 
look-out station. Here, on the iron-bound shores of 
Spitzbergen, with its icy peaks and snow-clad valleys, 
Franklin was first made acquainted with the uninviting 
aspect of Arctic scenery. The grim and inhospitable 
appearance of the surrounding country fascinated the 
tyro in Polar exploration, and made him all the more 
eager to further explore the hidden mysteries of the 
sealed North Land. It was, in all probability, the result 
of this, his first voyage to the Arctic regions, that made 
Franklin, the already skilful sailor and talented sur- 
veyor, one of the greatest Arctic travellers that the 
world has ever known. How different, he must have 
thought, was the appearance of the anchorage at Magda- 
lena Bay, with its dreary barren shores fringed by long 




snow-covered valleys and rugged sterile mountains, be- 
tween which lay huge milk-white glaciers, their opaque 
surfaces glistening in the rays of the midnight sun, to 
the luxuriant vegetation and tropical scenery of the 
land he had been accustomed to gaze on, while serving 
under Flinders in the Southern Hemisphere. It was 
indeed a marvellous change of scenery. In spite, how- 
ever, of the bleakness and sterility of their surroundings, 
the anchorage at Magdalena Bay was rendered cheerful 
by the song of countless birds peculiar to those regions ; 
myriads of little auks, or rotges flew, in long and never- 
ending processions to their breeding-places on the sides 
of the clifiFs, whilst guillemots, cormorants, gulls, and 
other aquatic birds enlivened the bay by their presence. 
Groups of walruses were also seen basking in the sun as 
they stretched their huge, ungainly forms on loose pieces 
of ice, while the presence of numerous seals doubtless 
afforded pastime to the sportsmen, as well as fresh food 
for the officers' mess. 

During their detention in Magdalena Bay, the mem- 
bers of the expedition witnessed, at various times, the 
breaking-off of immense fragments of ice from the 
parent glacier. On one occasion this disruption was 
attended with some little risk and danger, for one of 
their boats, with its crew, was carried by the wave en- 
gendeied by the fall of ice into the water, a distance of 
nearly a hundred feet, when it was washed up on the 
beach and badly stove. On another occasion, Buchau 
and Franklin were together in a boat examining the 
terminal face of one of these glaciers, when they sud- 
denly heard a deafening report, somewhat similar to the 
simultaneous discharge of many heavy pieces of artillery ; 
on looking up, they perceived to their horror an enor- 

SPITZBERGEN. ^r%l.'lit? 


Srak: i.8.00aOOO*lllAai^liB > 

a Tie 

GlaeUn a 









> ^ ■ ""'^" '■'«1j^ -v^- 

■ - Ki.tVO V 

a ['■■:: 




inous piece of the glacier sliding down into the sea from 
a height of at least two hundred feet. This was accom- 
panied by a loud grinding noise and the overflow of a 
large volume of water, which having previously formed 
and lodged in the fissures of the glacier, now made its 
escape in numerous cascades. The boat in which the 
two commanders were seated was kept with her head to 
seaward, and by this precaution they succeeded in avert- 
ing a disaster which would probably have ensued in con- 
sequence of the violent agitation of the water, and the 
succession of heavy rollers that swept across the bay, the 
roaring of which was b^ard at a distance of four miles. 
The fragment that had been detached, and wliose plunge 
into the water had caused all this commotion, disap- 
peared entirely for the space of some minutes, during 
which time nothing was to be seen but the surface of 
the water, violently agitated and covered with foam and 
clouds of spray. Suddenly it appeared, shooting up 
rapidly to the height of a hundred feet above the sea, 
with torrents of water pouring down its sides; then, 
after rocking about for some moments, it rolled over, 
eventually becoming quiescent, and drifting out to sea 
under the influence of wind and tide as a newly-formed 
iceberg. It was ascertained to be a quarter of a mile 
in circumference, and its height sixty feet above the 
water. Its weight was computed at about 421,640 

On the 7th June the ships sailed out of Magdalena 
Bay and steered a northward course, in order to resimie 
the examination of the pack. It was found in much 
the same state and condition as they had left it, namely, 
impenetrable. At this time, owing to the wind sud- 
denly failing, the ships wei*e left helplessly beca]me<i and 



quite unmanageable in close proximity to the pack, 
•which, in consequence of a heavy swell that prevailed, 
was in a violent state of agitation. In spite of every 
effort to prevent it, the ships were driven into the ice, 
where they experienced some rough treatment from the 
heaving pack. Towards morning a light breeze sprang 
up, which enabled them to effect their escape from a 
somewhat critical and perilous position, after a night of 
great anxiety and incessant toil. 

Having unsuccessfully attempted to find an opening in 
the ice to the westward. Captain Buchan came to the con- 
clusion that the best chance for the successful accomplish- 
ment of the enterprise, was by keeping close to Spitzber- 
gen, so with this object in view the course of the ships was 
once more shaped to the eastward. On June loth they 
sighted Prince Charles's Foreland, and on the following 
morning were off Cloven Cliff, where they were extremely 
gratified to find a navigable lane of water existing be- 
tween the land and the main body of the pack. Think- 
ing that this channel would possibly lead to an open 
and navigable sea, the ships boldly entered it, but had 
barely passed Red Bay before the ice closed in, the 
channel was blocked, and the ships were helplessly 
caught and beset. In this position, without being able 
to extricate themselves, the vessels remained for a period 
of thirteen days, when, under the : nfluence of a fresh 
north-east breeze, the ice loosened, and they succeeded 
in getting into open water. The place where the ships 
were beset, was in about the same locality in which 
Hudson, Bafiin, Poole, Phipps, and other navigators 
had invariably been stopped. 

Their late besetment had, at any rate, one very bene- 
ficial effect, for by its means they were led to the dis- 



CO very of the cause of the leak in the Trent , which had 
given them so much trouble and anxiety ever since 
they left England.^ It appears that one night when 
they were lying quietly in the ice, the surgeon's assist- 
ant thought he detected the noise of water rushing 
into the ship below where he slept. On this being re- 
ported, the spirit-room was at once cleared, and on cut- 
ting through the inside lining of the ship, the water 
poured through in a stream fully four feet in height. It 
was then found that a bolt, through the culpable neglect 
of some dockyard shipwright, had been left out, and the 
hole being covered with pitch, its omission was not at the 
time detected. The defect was at once rectified, and they 
had the happiness to find henceforth that the Trent was 
as tight and safe as any ship afloat; but the wretched 
shipwright, whose negligence had caused them so much 
wearisome labour and fatigue, was not easily or quickly 
forgotten, or forgiven, by the men, who up to this time 
liad been constantly employed at the pumps during more 
than half their watches ; the discovery and subsequent 
stoppage of the leak was therefore a matter of great joy 
and relief to all concerned. 

On June the 28th the ships anchored in Fair Haven, 
in order to await a more favourable opportunity of 
pushing northwards; they hoped that by the display 
of a little patience the pack would in a short time 
loosen and enable them to proceed. The anchorage at 
Fair Haven is free from hidden dangers of any kind, and 
is tolerably well sheltered from south and westerly winds, 
but is exposed to the north. Here they were fortunate 
enough to obtain some fresh meat in the shape of rein- 
deer, about forty of these animals falling victims to the 

1 See page 93. 





prowess of the sportsmen of the expedition. Four were 
driven into the water, captured, and taken alive to the 
ships, but the unfortunate beasts were so wild, that they 
broke their limbs in their frantic efforts to escape, and 
had to be shot. Large numbers of eider ducks were 
also procured, and afforded a very welcome change to 
the ship's provisions on which they had for so long been 

On the 6th July the ships again put to sea, and sailed 
as far north as 80° 15', but here again they were stopped 
by the same impenetrable barrier of ice that had already, 
on more than one occasion, so successfully impeded their 
advance. In their endeavours to extricate themselves 
from the loose fragments by which they were surrounded, 
the ships received some rather severe blows from the 
larger pieces. On the following day they had the in- 
tense pleasure of seeing the pack loosen, exhibiting 
lanes of water radiating in all directions through it. 
All was now bustle and activity, and the wind being 
favourable, the ships crowded on all possible sail, and 
pushed onwards with joyful anticipations of success. 

But changes occur very quickly and very suddenly 
in ice-encumbered waters, and bitter and keen disap- 
pointment soon followed their short-lived joyous aspira- 
tions, for in a few short hours the channels of water, 
which they thought might lead them even to the Pole 
itself, gradually diminished in size, until they disappeared 
altogether, and the ice, with its accustomed and erratic 
rapidity of motion, encircled the two ships so closely 
that they were soon completely beset. 

For the succeeding three weeks they remained in a 
perfectly helpless state, although strenuous efforts were 
made to free themselves, by boring through the ice 




whenever the pack loosened, and by dragging and warp- 
ing the ships whenever opportunities presented them- 
selves; in this way they succeeded in making some 
slight progress in a northerly direction, until, however, 
they discovered, to their great mortiflcation, that a strong 
current was setting them to the southward, at a greater 
rate than they were advancing in the opposite direction. 
The following extract from Captain Beechey's narra- 
tive will give some faint idea regarding the dangers and 
difficulties they were at this time exposed to : — 

"On the evening of the loth the Trent sustained a squeeze 
wljich made her rise four feet and heel over five streaks ; 
and on the 15th and i6ih both vessels suffered damage, 
especially the JJorothea^ from her being larger and more wall- 
sided than the I'rent. On that occasion we observed a field 
fifteen fee in thickness bieak up, and the pieces pile upon 
each other to a great heiglit, until they upset when they rolled 
over with a tremendous crash. The ice near the ships was 
piled uj) above their bulwarks, to the great danger of the bow- 
sprit and upper works. Fortunately the vessels rose to the 
pressure, or they nmst have had their sides forced in ; the 
Irent received her greatest damage upon the quarter, and was 
so twisted that the doors of all the cal}ins flew open, and the 
panels of some started in the frames, while her false stern-post 
moved three inches, and her timbers cracked to a most serious 
extent. The Dorothea suffered still more : some of her beams 
were sprung, and two planks on the lower deck, were split 
fore and aft and doubled up, and she otherwise sustained 
serious injury in her hull. It was in vain that we attempted 
any relief, our puny efforts were not even felt, though con- 
tinued for eight hours with unabated zeal ; and it was not until 
the tide changed that the smallest effect was produced. When, 
however, that occurred, the vessels arighted and settled in the 
water to their proper draft." 

It was during this besetment in the pack that the 


i 1 




ships reached their most northerly position, but, in con- 
sequence of the thick state of the weather, it was only 
ascertained by dead reckoning; and as there was an 
unfortunate difference in the calculations of the two 
vessels, the Dorothea computing the latitude to be 8o° 
31', and the Trent making it 80° 37', the mean of the 
two results, viz., 80° 34', was the highest position claimed. 
Captain Buchan now resolved to examine the edge 
of the ice to the westward, having so signally, and so 
repeatedly, failed in all his efforts to advance either in 
a northerly or easterly direction. No sooner had this 
determination been made known, and the necessary 
orders for acting upon it been issued, than the two 
ships were caught in a furious gale of wind, which 
necessitated their resorting to the desperate expedient of 
taking shelter in the pack, a step that can only be 
justified as an extreme measure, and as offering the 
sole chance of escaping destruction. In order to protect 
his ship from the heavy ice floes that skirted the pack, 
and through which he must necessarily pass, Franklin, 
fully alive to the perilous nature of his contemplated 
action, gave orders to cut up one of the largest hemp 
cables, in lengths of about thirty feet ; these pieces, with 
some walrus hides and iron plates, were then placed 
round the outside of the ship to act as fenders so as to 
protect the hull from the huge fragments of ice with 
which it would have to come into contact. He also gave 
orders for the masts and other spars to be secured with 
additional tackles, and all hatchways to be battened 
down. Everything being in readiness, Franklin, in a loud 
clear voice, ordered the helm to be put up, and the brig 
in obedience to the action flew round and dashed before 
the gale towards the pack, which presented "one un- 







broken line of furious breakers, in which immense pieces 
of ice were heaving and subsiding with the waves, and 
dashing together with a violence, which nothing ap- 
parently but a solid body could withstand," occasioning 
such an uproar and noisy confusion, that it was with 
difficulty that Franklin could make his orders heard 
by the men, though given in his customary cool, bold, 
and decisive manner. As the brig dashed into that 
awful seething mass of ice. Captain Beechey tells us 
that — 

'•Each person instinctively seciued his own hold, and, 
with his eyes fixed upon the masts, awaited in breathless 
anxiety the moment of concussion. It soon arrived — the 
brig, cutting her wuy through the light ice, came in violent 
contact with the main body. In an instant we all lost our 
footing, the masts bent with the impetus, and the cracking 
timbers from below bespoke a pressure which was calculated 
to awaken our serious apprehensions. The vessel staggered 
under the shock, and for a moment seemed to recoil ; but the 
next wave curling up under her counter, drove her about her 
own length within the margin of the ice, where she gave one 
roll, and was immediately thrown broadside to the wind by 
the succeeding wave, which beat furiously against her stern, 
and brought her lee side in contact with the main body, leav- 
ing her weather side exposed at the same time to a piece of ice 
about twice her own dimensions. . . . 

"Literally tossed from piece to piece, we had nothing left 
but patiently to abide the issue, for we could scarcely keep 
our feet, much less render any assistance to the vessel. The 
motion was so great that the ship's bell, which in tiie heaviest 
gale of wind had never struck by itself, now tolled so con- 
tinually, that it was ordered to be muffled, for the purpose 
of escaping the unpleasant association it was calculated to 

By making more sail, Franklin succeeded in pushing 




his vessel farther into the pack, and this greatly improved 
their situation. In about four hours the gale moderated, 
the swell subsided, and the weather clearing, those on 
board the Trent were much relieved by seeing their 
consort not far from them, for great apprehensions had 
been felt during the gale concerning her safety. They 
soon ascertained by signal that she had also suffered 
very sevei-ely in her encounter with the ice, and was 
in a somewhat crippled condition. On the following 
morning open water was reached, and the two battered 
ships, in a leaky, disabled, and almost sinking state, 
sought I'efnge in Fair Haven, in order to ascertain the 
extent of their injuries, and, if possible, repair their 
damages. The Treid though seriously damaged had sus- 
tained less injury than the Dorothea, which latter ship 
had the greatei* part of her timbers broken, besides 
several of her beams sprung. The larboai'd side of the 
ship, it was found, had been forced in by constant 
collisions with the ice; the spirit-room, which was in 
the centre of the ship, was crushed in ; while the casks 
stowed in the hold were actually stove ! It is hardly 
possible to imagine how the ship, after sustaining such 
serious injuries, was capable of remaining afloat. 

As it was quite out of the question that the Doro- 
thea in her present condition could again risk an 
encounter with the ice, but must either return to 
England or be abandoned, Franklin tried very hard 
to be allowed to proceed alone, in the Tre7if, in the 
execution of the service on which they were engaged ; 
but as his vessel was in nearly as unseaworthy a condi- 
tion as her consort. Captain Buchan wisely declined to 
f'?* Li'.n the request, giving as his reason that the 
' 0^ ."l' 'a '708 not in a fit state to imdertake the voyage 






to England unless accompanied by another vessel. In 
consequence of the unserviceable condition of the two 
ships, it was reluctantly, but prudently, decided, to 
abandon all further attempts at discovery, and to return 
to England as soon as the vessels could be rei>aired 
and made seaworthy. Indeed, any other course would 
have been as unwise as it would be hazardous. During 
their stay at Fair Haven, Franklin was busily occupied, 
not only in superintending the repaiis of the Trent, but 
also in surveying and projecting a plan of the anchorage 
and adjacent islands, and also in assisting Mr. FLsher to 
determine the geographical position of the place. The 
ships put to sea on the 30th August, and after making 
a cursory examination of the ice to the northward and 
westward, steered homewards ; after a somewhat long 
and anxious passage, they reached Deptford on October 
22nd, and were paid out of commission on the 14th of 
the following month. 

The results of this voyage were of a negative kind ; 
the expedition examined about the same extent of the 
pack edge as did Phipps in 1773, and found the ice 
equally as impenetrable as he did. It was, however, the 
first expedition sent to the Arctic regions during the 
present century, and it was the forerunner of those 
subsequently despatched by England in search of the 
north-west passage. 

Thus ended this plucky attempt to reach the North 
Pole, in which everything was achieved that human skill, 
perseverance, and courage could, under the peculiar cir- 
cumstances, have effected. Dangers and difficulties of a 
novel and a terrible description, were successfully grap- 
pled with, and hardships and privations of no ordinary 
kind, were uncomplainingly endured by that small but 




heroic band that sailed under the leadership of Buchan 
and Franklin. The failure to reach a high latitude was 
due to that vast barrier of ice, which has always proved 
an insuperable obstacle to advance in a northerly direc- 
tion in the neighbourhood of Spitzbergen. This great 
belt of impenetrable ice, has been invariably met with 
by all, in a greater or less degree, who have endeavoured 
to push northwards, and it has so far successfully defied 
penetration. One most important result of this expedi- 
tion, was the experience gained by Franklin in Arctic 
exploration, for it was during this voyage that he won 
his spurs as a Polar explorer, and gained that insight 
into ice navigation which subsequently proved of in- 
estimable value to his country and to the science of 




" How shall I admire your heroicke courage 
Ye marine worthies, beyond names of worthinesse ? " 


The return of the two expeditions in 1 8 1 8, although they 
had been unsuccessful in accomplishing the main objects 
for which they had been despatched, viz., the discovery of 
the North Pole, and the achievement of the long-sought- 
for north-west passage, so far from throwing cold water 
on the prosecution of further research in high latitudes, 
appeared to stimulate the Government into renewed 
action in the same direction. The reports of the leaders 
of the two expeditions were well considered and dis- 
cussed, and with such a satisfactory result as to induce 
the Government to decide upon sending out another 
expedition to continue the work of exploration to the 
westward by BaflBin's Bay, while a party was to be sent 
to explore by land along the northern shore of Arctic 

The command of the first-named expedition was in- 
trus'ed to Lieutenant Parry, who had recently been 
employed in command of th^ second ship in the late 
expedition under Captain Ross. The vessels appointed 

to carry out this service were the Heda and Griper, 






Lieutenant Liddon being phiced in command of the last- 
named ship. They sailed on the nth of May 1819, 
with instructions to proceed up Baffin's Bay, and so 
endeavour to reach the Pacific, through any channel or 
opening that might be discovered to the westward. 

The other expedition, although it was in a measure 
intended to act in conjunction with Lieutenant Parry, 
was of a totally different character, for it was organised 
with the object of penetrating by land to the Arctic 
Sea, at or about the mouth of the Coppermine River; 
thence it was to trace the shore of the north coast of 
America in an easterly direction, and, if circumstances 
should admit, to act in concert with Commander Parry, 
in the event of falling in with that officer. 

In the choice of leaders for these two expeditions, 
it is not sui'prising to find that Franklin should be the 
one selected for the conduct of that which must, of 
necessity, be of a paiticularly arduous and perilous 
nature. He had now made a name in the scientific 
world, and he had also established a reputation for him- 
self in the navy as an accomplished, skilful, and energetic 
officer. That such a man was not permitted to remain 
long inactive is not to be wondered at, especially when 
work of such a congenial nature as geographical ex- 
ploration was to be undertaken. The man who had 
braved the elements in their fiercest moods, and who 
had faced death in many forms in all parts of the 
world and under various conditions, was not likely to 
remain unemployed when such interesting and hazar- 
dous service as exploration in high latitudes was re- 
quired to be carried out. Who so fit to undertake the 
conduct of such an expedition as John Franklin? and 
who so competent to conduct an enterprise requiring 




courage, energy, and ability as the late talented com- 
mander of the Trent ? It was, therefore, almost a fore- 
gone conclusion, when the expedition was decided on, 
that it si 3uld be intrusted to tlie guidance of Lieutenant 
Franklin. The only wonder is, that he was not promoted 
to the rank of commander in order to lead such an 
important enterprise ; for, in spite of his excellent ser- 
vices in the junior branches of the navy, he had, at the 
time of his appointment to the command of the proposed 
expedition, served no less than eleven years in the grade 
of a lieutenant, eight of which had been actual ser\'ice 
in a ship at sea. 

With Franklin was associated Dr. John Richardson, a 
surgeon in the royal navy and a gentleman of consider- 
able scientific attainments; also Messrs. George Back and 
Robert Hood, Admiralty midshipmen, both of whom were 
accomplished artists. Mr. Back had already seen service 
in the Arctic regions, having served with Franklin in the 
Trent, in which ship he had displayed so much zeal and 
ability, that his old commander had no hesitation in 
selecting him to take part in an enterprise which, he was 
well aware, would prove both trying and hazardous. They 
were accompanied by John Hepburn, an old man-of-war's 
man, as their sole attendant. It was to the exertions 
of this gallant fellow that some of the members of the 
expedition, during the latter part of their journey, under 
Divine Providence, owed the preservation of their lives. 
He was a splendid specimen of a British sailor, steady, 
faithful, willing, always cheerful, and possessing bulldog 
tenacity of purpose. 

It must not be forgotten that, at this time, the 
northern coast of North America, from Icy Cape north 
of Bering's Strait, as far as Hudson's Bay to the east, 

il hi 




was practically unknown. In two places only had the 
veil been lifted along the northern shore of Arctic Ame- 
rica; these geographical feats were accomplished by 
two officials of the Hudson's Bay Company, Messrs. 
Heame and Mackenzie, who, at different times, had 
successfully worked their way to the coast, and who were 
the only white men who had ever beheld the Arctic 
Sea from the north coast of America. With the excep- 
tion of the two positions gained by these travellers, a 
line of coast, extending over eighty degrees of longi- 
tude, was an absolute blank on our maps and charts. 
One of these explorers, Samuel Hearne, had been 
despatched from Fort Churchill, a post belonging to 
the Company in Hudson's Bay, in December 1770, 
in consequence of vague reports that had, from time 
to time, been received from the Indians, relative to 
the existence of an extensive sea to the northward. 
He was ordered to proceed to the coast, directing his 
route as far as practicable along the banks of a large 
river which was known to flow to the northward, and 
which had been named the Coppermine, on account of 
the reports that had been brought in by the Indians 
of the discovery of that metal in its neighbourhood. 
He was also directed to express his opinion on the 
possibility of using this sea, if he succeeded in reaching 
it, as a practicable route for the Company's ships, and 
to report further on the territory through which he 
journeyed, relative to its capabilities and value as a fur- 
producing country. He was accompanied on this expedi- 
tion by several Indians, who acted as guides ; he was the 
only white man in the party, and he appears to have been, 
more or less, in the hands of the natives, being entirely 
dependent on them both for guidance and sustenance, 




Hearne returned to Fort Churchill after an adventur- 
ous journey of nineteen month..' duration, during which 
time he succeeded in reaching the sea at the mouth of 
the Coppermine River. This position he fixed with a fair 
amount of accuracy, considering the means at his disposal. 
Near the mouth of the river they discovered a party 
of Eskimos, encamped in their summer tents, and 
peacefully engaged in hunting seals and fishing. Under 
cover of darkness these poor i)eople were all brutally mas- 
sacred by the Indians in their tents, in spite of Hearne's 
earnest pleadings and remonstrances. It appears that 
a bitter feud had existed, from time immemorial, be- 
tween the Indians of the plains and the Eskimos of 
the coast, and that no lapse of time had ever been suffi- 
cient to heal the breach. A rapid near the spot where 
this outrage occurred was called by Hearne Bloody Fall. 
The hardships and privations expeiienced by Hearne 
(luring this long and remarkable journey were very 

Mackenzie made a somewhat similar journey in 1789 
to the shores of the Polar Sea, during which he success- 
fully traced the river that now bears his name to its 
embouchure. These were the only white men who had 
traversed the barren lands of North America northward 
to the sea; Captain Cook, it will be rememl>ered, had 
only succeeded in advancing in his ship a very short 
distance to the northward of Bering's Strait in 1776. 

The instructions that were issued to Lieutenant 
Franklin were, briefly, as follows : — He was to proceed 
to Hudson's Bay ; thence he was to travel northward 
with the object of determining astronomically the posi- 
tions of all capes, headlands, bays, harbours, and rivers, 
and also to sketch in the trend of the coast-line of 






North America, between the eastern extremity of that 
continent and the mouth of the Coppermine River. He 
was left at liberty to select, according to circumstances, 
the best route that would enable him to reach the shores 
of the Arctic Sea in the shoi*test possible time. 

In the adoption of the route to be followed, he was 
in a great measure to be governed by the advice and 
information he might obtain from the officers of the 
Hudson's Bay Company that he should meet during the 
course of his wanderings. These officials had been re- 
quested to afford Lieutenant Fraryklin all the assistance 
in their power towards promoting generally the success 
of the enterprise, and especially in the way of providing 
him with necessaries for tlie jo\irney, and in procuring 
an escort of Indians to accompany him as guides, 
hunters, and as a means of protection against the 
Eskimos, or any predatory hostile bands of Indians 
that might be fallen in with. Franklin was further 
directed to deposit any information he might consider 
of importance in conspicuous places along the coast, for 
the guidance of Lieutenant Parry, in the event of that 
officer being successful in reaching the Arctic shores of 
North America with his two ships. He was liberally 
supplied with instruments for determining the dip and 
variation of the magnetic needle and intensity of the 
magnetic force, also others for registering the tempera- 
ture, and other important meteorological observations. 
On reaching the mouth of the Coppermine River, he 
was ordered to institute inquiries relative to the presence 
of native copper, which, it had been alleged, had been 
discovered in the locality, several specimens having been 
brought by the Indians to the Hudson's Bay posts. 
He was to endeavour, if practicable, to visit and explore 



those places, so as to obtain specimens in situ, and so 
afford Dr. Richardson an opportunity of making " such 
observations as might be useful in a commercial point of 
view or interesting to the science of mineralogy." 

It will thus be seen that geographical exploration was 
not the sole object of the expedition, but the interest of 
science in other branches was also to be carefully studied. 
The task that Franklin undertook to accomplish was 
not only difficult, but it was an extremely hazardous 
one, for it entailed a journey through an unknown and 
barren country, of the resources of which he was totally 
ignorant ; and yet he was well aware that he would be 
entirely dependent, not only for the bare necessaries of 
life, but for the existence of himself and that of his party, 
on the products of the chase. He was also not ignorant of 
the fact that he and his companions would be exposed to 
the merciless rigours and attendant hardships of more 
than one Arctic winter. The magnitude and novelty of 
the enterprise, and the possible dangers and privations 
that would be experienced, rendered it, however, all the 
more acceptable and fascinating to the gallant little 
band that set forth full of resolution, determined to 
carry to a successful issue, and to the best of their 
ability, the work intrusted to them. 

Everything being in readiness, the expedition em- 
barked at Gravesend on board the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany's ship Pnnce of Wales, the master of which had 
been directed to convey Lieutenant Franklin and his 
party as far as York Factory m Hudson's Bay. She 
dropped down the Thames on the r?3rd May 1819, but, 
in consequence of bad weather and htad winds, did nob 
reach Stromness in the Orkney Islands until June 3rd. 
Here Franklin engaged the services of four men to 




! - 

1 1 I' 
!l Ih 

accompany bim in the capacity of boatmen wbilst ascend- 
ing tbe rivers in the Hudson's Bay Territory. More were 
required, but there was a general imwillingness evinced 
on the pait of the men to join the expedition, on account 
of the supposed dangerous service on which they vvouhl 
be employed. 

On the afternoon of the i6th the Prince of Wales put 
to sea, and commenced her voyage across the Atlantic to 
Hudson's Bay. The passage was a somewhat protracted 
one, for it was not until the 7th of August that Resolution 
Island, situated off the north extreme of the entrance to 
Hudson's Strait, was sighted. The wind dying away, left 
the ship drifting about helplessly at the mercy of the 
strong and variable currents that usually exist in that 
locality, and they had a veiy nai-row escape from ship- 
wreck. The circumstance is thus alluded to by Franklin : — 

"At half-past twelve we had the alarming view of a barren 
rugged shore within a few yards, lowering over the mastheads. 
Almost immediately afterwards the ship struck violently on a 
point of rocks projecting from the island ; and the sliip's side 
was brought so near to the shore, that poles were prepared to 
push her off. This blow displaced the rudder and raised it 
several inches. ... A gentle swell freed the ship from this 
perilous situation, but the current hurrieil us along in contact 
with the rocky shore, and the prospect was most alarming. 
On the outward bow was perceived a rugged and precipitous 
cliff, whose summit was hid in the fog, and the vessel's liead 
was pointed towards the bottom of a small bay into which 
we were rapidly driving. There now seemed to be no proba- 
bility of escaping shipwreck, being without wind and having 
the rudder in its present useless state." 

At this moment, however, the ship again struck 
in passing over a ledge of rocks, and by a curious and 
lucky coincidence, the second shock had the effect of 



replacing the rudder, and rendering it again service- 
able. A light breeze springing up at the same time, 
iilled the sails, and they were thus enabled to draw 
gradually, but surely, away from the danger. The ship 
had, however, made but little progress before the cuirent 
forced her in the direction of a large grounded iceberg, 
against the steep and rugged sides of which she was 
driven with such amazing rapidity and force, that they 
expected every moment to see the masts go by the board. 

Fortunately this particular danger was also avei-ted, 
and the ship again escaped destruction, but she was left 
in such a crippled and leaky condition that the crew were 
unable to keep her free of water by the pumps alone, 
and the officers Jind passengers were: obliged, in order 
to keep her afloat, to bale the water out with buckets. 
On the morning of the 8th, the water had gained to 
such an extent, that upwards of live feet was reported in 
the hold. Luckily the carpenters were able to get at 
some of the damaged parts; these were temporarily 
patched up, and a sail ])eing drawn underneath that 
portion of the injured part which could not be repaired, 
the influx of water was materially diminished, and the 
leaks eventually mastered. 

On the evening of the loth, the ship entered Hudson's 
Strait, and without any hindrance from ice — indeed 
without even seeing any — reached the Savage Islands 
the following day, where they remained for a few hours 
for the purpose of bartering with the Eskimos, who 
came down with their sledges and kayaks laden with 
skins and other products of the country. In conse- 
quence of the entire absence of ice in the strait, they 
were compelled to stretch over to the Labrador coast in 
order to replenish the ship with water. On the 19th 





Digges Islands were passed, and on the 30th the Prince 
of Wales anchored off York Factory, where the mem- 
bers of the expedition landed. Here they obtained 
from the Hudson's Bay Company the use of one of 
their large transport boats, in order to enable them to 
continue their journey, for with the amount of stores, &c., 
they were compelled to take, the ordinary mode of travel- 
ling in canoes was quite out of the question. They were 
also fortunate enough to secure the services of an experi- 
enced steersman ; the remainder of the crew was com- 
posed of the men hiied for the purpose at Stromness. 

The boats in use by the Hudson's Bay Company for 
the transport of their goods on the rivers and lakes in 
tlieir Territory, are called York boats. They were (and 
even are, for the same description of boat is in use in 
the present day) constructed as lightly as possible, with a 
view to navigating shallow rivers, and were consequently 
of exceptionally light draft, barely drawing, when loaded 
with a heavy cargo of furs, more than about twelve 
inches of water. They were, and continue to be, exten- 
sively used in conveying the peltries and necessary stores 
from one trading post to another. They are about 
forty feet in length, sharp at both ends and very full 
amidships, requiring about nine or twelve men as a crew. 
When the rapids are not too fierce, these boats when un- 
loaded, can be dragged and pushed along with poles; 
but where the rapids are, from their velocity, impas- 
sable, the cargoes have to be landed, and, with the boats, 
" portaged " round the falls. This, with such unwieldy 
craft, is oftentimes excessively labori us. Going down 
stream, and also when on the lakes, they are propelled by 
oars ; but when pursuing their course against the current, 
they are invariably tracked by the crew, who, walking 


along one bank of the stream, drag the boat after them. 
Although fitted with rudders, they are usually guided by 
a large steer-oar. I have been thus minute in describ- 
ing these boats, for it was in one of them, that Franklin 
and his companions accomplished the greater part of 
their journey towards the Arctic Ocean. 

It is almost needless to say that the members of the 
expedition were received with kindness and courtesy by 
the Hudson's Bay officials stationed at York Factory, 
who did all in their power, by communicating with their 
brother officers stationed at the various posts in that por- 
tion of the country through which Franklin must neces- 
sarily travel, to facilitate the despatch of the party, and to 
promote the success of the enterprise, besides assisting 
them with all the available means at their disposal. 

The route selected by Franklin, after due consultation 
with the acknowledged authorities on the subject, was 
the one by the Great Slave Lake. By the adoption of 
this particular route, the expedition would pass several 
of the Hudson's Bay stations that had been estab- 
lished for the collection of skins, &c., and they would 
thus be able to keep their communication open with 
the outer world, for a longer period than would other- 
wise be the case. 

The necessary preparations for the journey having 
been completed, the expedition started from York Factory 
on the 9th of September 1819, and after a toilsome 
journey of nearly 700 miles, reached Cumberland House, 
on the Saskatchewan River, on the 23rd of the follow- 
ing month. ^ 

^ For about 400 miles of this distance, namely, from York Factory 
to Norway House, situated in the immediate neighbourhood of the 
shores of Lake Winnipeg, the writer of these pages has, quite 




The voyage thus far was not altogether devoid of 
exciting incident or danger, for on the 2nd of October 
Franklin had a narrow escape of losing his life by 
drowning, having accidentally lost his footing whilst 
standing on a rock endeavouring to force the boat up 
a rapid ; falling into the river, he was rapidly swept 
away in the swirling torrent. In consequence of the 
rocks being worn smooth by attrition, the result of the 
action of the water, his efforts to regain the bank were 
ineffectual, and he was carried down the stream for a 
considerable distance. Fortunately he succeeded, after 
a time, in arre '"-^^ hh progress by grasping the branch 
of a willow, a ad ^ ■» ""^ eventually rescued from his 
perilous and critical pu iiion by some of the Hudson's 
Bay people, who L irried to liLs assistance. 

On arrival at Cumt, xlatici T^Tn^se, lie found, to his 
great mortification, that the guides, hunters, interpreters, 

recently, followed along the same road that was traversed by Franklin 
and his companions ; tracking up the same rivers, paddling over the 
same lakes, breasting the same rapids, and transporting his light 
birch-bark canoe and necessary impedimenta, along the same portages 
over winch they transported their more cumbersome boat and heavier 
cargo. He can testify to the excellence of the sketches that were 
taken by some of the members of the expedition (one of which, Trout 
Falls, is here reproduced) of various parts of the route, and of the 
faithful accunicy of the description of the country through which 
they travelled. This description, written seventy years ago, is now 
so applicable to the country recently visited by the writer, that 
it miglit have been written yesterday ! The running survey of the 
rivers ascended by the expedition was carried out by Lieutenant 
Franklin and his assistants, and remains unaltered and unchallenged 
on the maps of the present day. 

It may be interesting to remark tliat at Norway House, the writer 
found a sundial in the exact position that Lieutenant Franklin had 
l>laced it in the garden of the Chief Factor at that post in 1819. On 
the leaden dial plate is engraved the initials J. H. F., which, it is 
asserted, was the work of Sir John Franklin's own hands, and there 
is no reason to doubt the accuracy of the asserj;ion. 





&c., whose services he hoped to obtain, were not to be 
had for any consideration. He, thei*efore, resolved to 
proceed at once to Fort Chipewyan, another Hudson's 
Bay post, situated on the shore of Lake Athabasca, 
where, he was informed, there would be no difficulty in 
obtaining the services of men who were intimately 


acquainted with the nature an<l resources of tlie country 
lying to the northward of the Great Slave Lake. 

In accordance with this resolution, leaving Dr. 
Richardson and Mr. Hood to pass the winter at Cum- 
berland House, Franklin, accompanied by Mr. Back and 
Hepburn, started on the i8th January i8.?o, with a 
couple of dog-sledges, and with only fifteen days' pro- 
visions. Before leaving, Franklin had made the neces- 
sary arrangements for the Stromness men, who did 




not evince any inclination to accompany the expedition 
further, to return vid York Factory to England. 

This trip to Fort Chipewyan was a bold undertaking 
on Franklin's part, for the time selected for making the 
journey was in the veiy depth of winter. The cold was 
intense, for we read that the mercury in their thermo- 
meters remained frozen during the entire journey ! The 
privations endured may be imagined, when we read in 
the official narrative such sentences as the following : — 
"Provisions becoming scanty; dogs without food, ex- 
cept a little burnt leather." — "Night miserably cold; 
tea froze in the tin pots before we eould drink it." 

On the ist February Carlton House was reached, and 
here they remained for the space of a week, to recruit 
their strength and to recover from the severities of the 
journey. They left again on the 8th, and after visiting a 
few Hudson's Bay posts that lay on their line of route, 
they eventually reached Fort Chipewyan, on Lake 
Athabasca, on the 26th March, having traversed a dis- 
tance of 857 miles since parting from their companions 
at Cumberland House. Here they busily occupied them- 
selves during the remainder of the winter and spring in 
making the necessary preparations for the continuance 
of the voyage. 

Having been joined by Dr. Richardson and Mr. Hood, 
who had been left behind at Cumberland House for the 
pui'pose of bringing on the stores and provisions directly 
they could be transported after the rivers and lakes 
were open to navigation, the expedition took its de- 
parture from Fort Chipewyan on the i8th July, and 
proceeding down the Slave Biver, reached the waters of 
the Great Slave Lake; on the 29th they arrived at Fort 
Providence, a post situated at the north end of the lake. 







Their journey thus far had been chiefly remarkable 
for tlie number of rapids they encountered, and the 
numerous portages that had consequently to be made ; 
and also, it should be recorded, for the sufferings they 
endured from the pertinacious attacks to which they 
were exposed from myriads of mosquitoes and sand- 
flies. These pestilential insects were, during the 
journey, a source of very serious annoyance to the 

At Fort Providence their party was supplemented 
by the addition of a clerk belonging to the North- West 
Company, a Mr. Wentzel, who had placed his services 
at the disposal of Lieutenant Franklin; he was also 
accompanied by an interpreter and a hunter. The 
expedition now consisted of Franklin and his five 
European companions, twenty-six men, principally Cana- 
dian half-breed voyageurs, three women and as many 
children. The women were specially engaged for the 
purpose of making clothes and shoes for the men whilst 
in winter quarters. 

On the 2nd August they left Fort Pi-ovidence in four 
canoes, and steering to the northward, entered a country 
that had never previously been visited by Europeans. 
On the following day they reached the Yellow Knife 
River, where they were joined, as had been airanged, 
by a flotilla of seventeen canoes, containing Indians who 
had agreed to accompany them some distance to the 
northward, and hunt for them during the time they 
were together. Leaving the Yellow Knife River, they 
proceeded by a chain of lakes, necessitating innumerable 
long and tedious portages, until Winter Lake, situated 
in latitude 64" 30', was reached on August 20th. The 
season being well advanced, it was determined to con- 





struct a house on the south-west side of this lake, to 
be called Fort Enterprise, in which to pass the winter. 
The distance travelled from Fort Chipewyan to this posi- 
tion was 553 milps. 

It may be interesting to know that the united length 
of all the portages crossed by the expedition since leaving 
Fort Providence was twenty-one statute miles ; over this 
distance everything, including canoes, had to be carried ; 
and as each portage had to be traversed no less than 
seven times in order to transport their goods across, 
a distance of 150 miles had necessarily to be walked. 
Up to the period when the expedition went into winter 
quarters at Fort Enterprise, they had travelled a dis- 
tance of over 1 500 miles. 

While some of the party were engaged in building 
the houses in which to pass the winter, others were em- 
ployed on hunting-parties in order to procure game for 
their subsistence during the winter, and also for their 
requirements during the spring travelling. There was, 
fortunately, no lack of fresh meat, as large herds of rein- 
deer were frequently found grazing along the shores of 
the lake. The oiSicers during this time were, of course, 
well occupied, chiefly in the general superintendence of 
the work and in organising the hunting-parties, and also 
in the examination of the adjacent country, with a view 
of ascertaining the direction that would afford the best 
facilities for making good progress when the travelling 
season began. During one of these expeditions the 
Coppermine River was reached. 

By the 15 th September all parties had returned to 
Fort Enterprise, and the necessary preparations for 
passing the winter were made. On the 6th of the 
following month they moved into their houses. The 





one erected for the officers was a log building fifty feet 
long by twenty-four wide, divided into a large hall, 
three bedrooms, and a kitchen ; this was occupied by 
Franklin and his companions. There was also another 
house constructed for the men, besides a storehouse in 
which the provisions were kept. 

The winter was a long and cheerless one, and the 
privations they endured, cut off as they were from all, 
save their little community, were of no ordinary nature ; 
extreme cold and a scarcity of provisions being the prin- 
cipal enemies they had to contend with, the reindeer 
having entirely deserted their neighbourhood shortly 
after the occupation of their winter quarters. Before 
the winter had actually set in, their store of provisions 
was so reduced that it became absolutely necessary to 
communicate with Fort Chipewyan in order to 
their exhausted stock. For this purpose Mr. Back, 
always ready to proffer his services when any under- 
taking of a particularly arduous or dangerous character 
had to be performed, was despatched during the month 
of November. He returned on the 15th of March, having 
most satisfactorily executed the duty entrusted to him. 

During the period of his absence, this intrepid young 
officer travelled a distance of more than 1 100 miles 
on snowshoes, with the temperature frequently down 
to -40°, and on one occasion as low as -57°. All 
this time he had no covering at night but a single 
blanket and a deerskin, and he was sometimes without 
food of any description for two or three consecutive 
days. This will perhaps give some idea of the hard- 
ships and sufferings endured by this gallant young mid- 
shipman during his long and arduous journey. 




I . 'i 

' ' Oh, the long and dreary winter I 
Oh, the cold and cniel winter ! 
Ever thicker, thicker, thicker, 
Froze the ice on lake and river ; 
Ever deeper, deeper, deeper, 
Fell the snow o'er all the landscape, 
Fell the covering snow and drifted 
Through the forest, round the village. 
Hardly from the buried wigwam 
Could the himter force a passage ; 
Witli his mittens and his snowshoes 
Vainly walked he through ♦•^e forest. 
Sought for bird and beast, and found none, 
Saw no track of deer or rabbit, 
In the snow beheld no foot-prints 
In the ghastly gleaming forest." 

— Longfellow. 

At length, after endless troubles with the Indians 

and the half-breed voyageurs, the party, having been 

augmented by the addition of a couple of Eskimo 

interpreters, took its departure from Fort Enterprise 

on 14th June 1821, with two large canoes and several 

sledges. The rate of progress, however, was not at 

first very rapid, for each man had to carry, or drag, 





ii weight of 1 80 poundH, a Berious obstacle to quick 

Crossing various lakes tluit lay in their route, trans- 
porting their canoes and stores over long stretches of 
bai-ren land, and even sometimes over high and rugged 
hills, launching their canoes again into the rivers, and 
shooting dangerous rapids, the exi)edition pushed onwards 
until it was fairly embarked on the turbid waters of the 
Coppermine Kiver. 

That their task was a diflieult and a perilous one 
goes without saying, and we are not surprised to hear 
of the suflFerings they endured from swollen knee and 
ankle joints, the result of continuous marching through 
soft snow, combined with a predisposition to scorbutic 
attacks ; their shoes also were much torn by the ice and 
sharp-pointed stones over which they had o travel, 
causing their feet to be painfully lacerated, and thoy 
were also subjected to the almost unbearable and never- 
ceasing persecutions of their relentless enemies, the 
mosquitoes. Still they pushed on uncomplainingly, re- 
garding these torments as a necessary part of their 
daily routine, and determined, so far as in them lay, 
to carry out to the letter the particular object of the 
enterprise, namely, geographical research. 

Fortunately, although the country through which they 
journeyed was barren and sterile iu appearance, they 
saw, and succeeded in killing, many reindeer and musk- 
oxen, and were thus able to eke out the somewhat scanty 

1 Prior to their departure, arrangements had been made with 
one of the Indian chiefs, named Aknitcho, for depositing a large 
supply of provisions at Fort Enterprise during their absence, so 
tlmt on their return they would find a good store prepared for 
them, in the event of their having to psiss another winter at the 



h 1 




stock of dried provisions with which they weie furnished 
on leaving Fort Enterprise. The scenery along the 
banks of the Coppermine River was bold and rugged. 
Kanges of lofty hills were visible on either side, while 
broad valleys stretching between them, afforded excellent 
shelter and pasturage for the herds of reindeer that 
were constantly seen. On the 14th June a high hill 
was ascended, and their heaiis beat with joyful ex- 
pectation of future success, as they obtained their lirst 
view of the Arctic Ocean. Four days subsequently they 
had the extreme gratification of making their camp on 
the shore of the Hyperborean Sea, and had the satis- 
faction of feeling that they had almost reached the 
'• Ultima Thule " of their journey. 

They found the geogiaphical position of the mouth of 
the Coppermine lliver to be somewhat different to that 
assigned to it by llearne, but everything else agi'eed 
well with the account given by that tiaveller. The 
most conspicuous headland seen to the northward was 
named by Franklin Cape Hearne, as a just and deserv- 
ing tribute to the memory of that persevering and ener- 
getic Hudson's Bay official. Ever mindful of old friends 
and patrons, a group of islands was named the Lawford 
Islands after the commander under whose auspices, in 
the old Pohjpheinus, Franklin had gained his first expe- 
rience in the navy. Nor were Flinders and Buchan 
forgotten by their old friend, when considering the 
nomenclature of the newly-discovei*ed land. 

On June 21st the canoes were launched on the Arctic 
Ocean, and their voyage to the eastward commenced. 
The coast along which they sailed in their small and 
frail barks was a sterile and inhospitable one ; cliff suc- 
ceeded cliff in tiresome and monotonous uniformity; 




the valleys that intervened being covered with the debris 
that fell from the cliflFs, to the exclusion of any kind of 
herbage. Occasionally their progress was tempomrily 
impeded by ice, whilst a strong ice-blink was invariably 
seen to seaward. 

It must not be forgotten that tlie expedition was 
navigating a rock-bound coast, fringed with heavy 
masses of solid ice, tliat rose and fell with every motion 
of a rough and tempestuous sea, threatening momentarily 
to crush the light frail canoes, fit only for river or lake 
navigation, in which Fmnklin and his party were em- 
barked. This voyage along the shores of the Arctic 
Sea, must always take rank as one of the most daring 
and hazardous exploits that has e\er been accomplished 
in the inteiest of geogra}»hical research. Following all 
the tortuous sinuosities of the coast-line, and accurately 
delineating the northern shore of North America as 
they pushed onwards in an easterly direction, naming 
all the principal headlands, sounds, bays and islands ^ 
that were discovered, the expedition resiched a point 
on the i8th August in latitude 68° 19' N. and longi- 
tude 110° 5' W. on the coast of North America, whence 
Franklin reluctantly came to the conclusion that they 
had reached the end of their journey, and must return 
from the interesting work on which they were engaged, 

^ It is somewhat tiigniiiciiiit that a sninll group of islands discovered 
by Franklin at this period in the Arctic Sea received tlie nnme of tiie 
Porden Islands. Miss Eleanor Anue Porden was the daughter of 
nn eminent architect. As a young girl she developed a talent for 
poetry, and on the despatch of the expedition commanded by Captain 
Buchan in 1818 she wrote a short sonnet on it. This was the means 
of an introduction to Franklin, who must have been so impresaed 
by the charms of the young poetess, that he not only nanie<l theHe 
islands after her, but ou his return to England he made her his 



ivMm 1 




and for the following reasons. In the first place, they 
had only three days' pemmican left, and the Canadian 
voyageurs had, consequently, manifested a very decided 
reluctance to continue the work of exploration, believing, 
and not unnaturally, that great difficulty would be expe- 
rienced at that late season of the year in replenish- 
ing their fast diminishing store of provisions. In the 
second place, the gales of wind which were so prevalent 
were, they thought, sure indications of the break-up of 
the travelling season, and therefore that in itself appeared 
sufficient reason for them to be thinking of wending their 
way in a southerly direction. The absence of all traces 
of Eskimos, from whom they had calculated upon obtain- 
ing supplies of food, was also discouraging, while the 
amount of time that had already been occupied in 
exploiing the various bays and sounds that lay in 
their route was so great, that it entirely precluded all 
hope of reaching Repulse Bay before the arrival of 
winter, a hope they had always cherished might be 

Although on the chart the position reached by the 
expedition, which was very appropriately named Point 
Turnagain, was only six and a half degrees of longitude 
to the eastward of the mouth of the Coppermine River, 
so tortuous and winding was the contour of the newly- 
discovered coast, that they were actually obliged to sail 
and paddle in their canoes a distance of 555 geogra- 
phical miles in order to accomplish the journey ; this 
would be about equal to the direct distance between 
the Coppermine River and Repulse Bay. It was there- 
fore obvious that the only prudent course that could be 
pursued, was to return as soon as possible in order to 
reach the Indians, who had been directed to procure a 




supply of provisions for the expedition, before the next 
winter should set in. 

From their researches, up to this point, Franklin 
had arrived at the conclusion (subsequently proved 
to be a well-founded one) that a navigable passage for 
ships along the coast by which they had travelled was 
practicable; and although he was disappointed in not 
meeting his friend Captain Parry and his vessels, he 
felt convinced that they stood an excellent chance of 
satisfactorily clearing up the long unsolved problem of a 
north-west passage. 

It is not in the scojie of this work to enter into all the 
details connected with Franklin's remarkable journey, 
but the stoiy could only be considered as half told, if 
an allusion to the return voyage was omitted. The 
determination to return was, it may well be imagined, 
liiiiled with delight by the voyagenrs, who for some days 
had manifested a growing spirit of insubordination, due 
in a measure to the serious apprehensions they felt for 
their safety if the voyage was continued. Instead of 
returning by the way they came, namely by the Copper- 
mine River, Franklin determined to push up Arctic 
Sound, and thence proceed by way of a large river (which 
lie named, after his young companion, Hood River), to 
Fort Enterprise, for he thought by so doing he would pass 
through a country in which the chances of obtaining game 
would be greater than by adhering to the outward route. 

In accordance with this resolve, the expedition left 
Point Tumagain on the 22nd of August. At this time 
the ground was covered with snow and the pools of water 
were frozen, while other indications of the approach 
of winter were only too evident. Their provisions at 
this time were so reduced that they had to content 




themselves with one meal a day, and this consisted 
of a small amount of dry and mouldy pommican. On 
the 24th they succeeded in killing three very lean and 
scraggy deer; but beggars cannot afford to oc choosers, 
and this addition to their larder was. both welcome 
and acceptable, more especially as they had already con- 
sumed their last remaining meal of pemmican. On 
the following day, after an exciting run before a gale of 
wind, in which both canoes nearly foundered, they left 
the sea, and entering the mouth of Hood's River, en- 
camped that night as high as the first rapid. 

Thus terminated their voyage on the Arctic Ocean, 
on which they had sailed over 650 geographical miles ; 
but their troubles and their sufferings did not cease 
when they turned their backs upon the sea ; indeed, they 
can barely be said to have commenced. Finding the 
canoes too heavy and unwieldy for their mode of tra- 
velling, especially as the rapids were numerous and the 
portages long, two smaller boats were constructed out of 
the materials of the larger ones; having thus reduced 
their weights and discarded all unnecessary stores, books, 
&c., which were carefully deposited in a cache, they suc- 
ceeded in making better progress. Ascertainim* that 
Hood's River trended too much in a westerly direccion, 
and being also somewhat difficult of navigation, they 
quitted its banks on the 3rd of September, and tra- 
velled as nearly as they could in a straight line towards 
their wished-for goal and haven, Foi-t Enterprise. 

Henceforth the journey had to be performed almost 
entirely on foot over a stony and barren country, but 
they carried their canoes with them in the event of 
having to cross any lakes or rivers that might lie in 
their route, or that flowed in the right direction. On 


the evening of the 4th their stock of provisions was 
exhausted. On the two following days a violent gale of 
wind was experienced, which necessitated a confinement 
to camp; as they had absolutely nothing to eat, and 
were even destitute of the means of making a fire, they 
remained in bed the whole time. The temperature at 
this time was as low as 20°, and they found their blankets 
quite insuflScient to pi'otect them against the cold. On 
the morning of the 7th, the wind having moderated 
slightly, and anjrthing being preferable to in.activity, the 
tents were struck and the march resumed. So violent, 
however, was the wind, that the men carrying the canoes 
were frequently blown down by its force ; and on one of 
these occasions the largest of the two canoes was so 
injured as to be rendered utterly unserviceable. It was 
thought at the time that it had been purposely thrown 
down and damaged by those who had to cariy it. 

For some days all they had to subsist on was a lichen, 
called by the Canadians tripe de roclie,^ with perhaps an 
occasional partridge shot by the hunters. Their suffer- 
ings were great, for the temperature was very low, 
always below freezing-point, and they were frequently 
wet to their waists from having to ford the numerous 
rivers and swamps that lay in their path ; their remaining 
canoe was in such a leaky condition as to be practically 
useless. On the loth they sighted a herd of musk-oxen, 
and were so fortunate as to succeed in killing one of 
these animals. 

* Called by botanists Oyrophora, on account of its circular form, 
nnd the surface of tbe leaf being marked with curved lines. Dr. 
Richardson says — "We used it as an article of food, but not having 
the means of extracting the bitter principle from it, it proved 
nauseous to uU, and noxious to several of the party, producing 
severe bowel complaints." 




The event is tlius alluded to in Franklin's narrative 
of the journey : — 

" About noon the weather cleared, and to our great joy we 
saw a herd of musk-oxen grazing in a valley below us. The 
party instantly halted, and the best hunters were sent out. 
They approached the animals with the utmost caution, no 
less than two hours being consumed before they got within 
gunshot. In the meantime we beheld their proceedings with 
extreme anxiety, and many secret prayers were, doubtless, 
offered up for their success. At length they opened their fire, 
and we had the satisfaction of seeing one of the largest cows 
fall ; another was wounded, but escaped. This success infused 
spirit in our starving party. To skin and cut up the animal 
was the work of a few minutes. The contents of its stomach 
was devoured upon the spot, and the raw intestines, which 
were most attacked, were pronounced by the most delicate 
amongst us to be excellent. This was the sixth day since we 
had had a good meal. The tripe de roche, even where we got 
enough, only serving to allay the pangs of hunger for a short 

This providential supply of food revived their droop- 
ing spirits, but death stared them in the face in more 
ways than one, and Franklin himself had a narrow 
escape of his life, being capsized whilst attempting to 
cross a rapid in their crazy canoe; his escape indeed 
was almost miraculous. By this accident he had the 
misfortune to lose his journal, and the numerous and 
valuable scientific observations he had made since the 
departure of the expedition from Fort Enterprise. 

In order to lighten their burdens, everything but the 
clothes that were actually on their backs, their guns and 
ammunition, and the instruments necessary for deter- 
mining their position, were abandoned, and rewards in 
money were offered to those who were successful in 




shooting game. On the 17th the pangs of hunger, 
we are told, were somewhat allayed by eating pieces 
of singed hide mixed with a little tripe de roche ! On 
the following day they supped off tripe de roche, and 
on the next day had nothing at all ! 

On the 2ist the remaining canoe was irreparably 
damaged, and was therefore abandoned as useless lumber. 
On the same day they picked up the horns and bones of 
a deer that had been devoured by wolves the previous 
year. These were made friable by burning, and with 
some old shoes was the only food they had that day. 
On the 25th they fortunately succeeded in shooting five 
small deer out of a herd; and, two days after, they 
were lucky enough to find the putrid carcase of a deer 
that had fallen into the cleft of a rock the previous 
spring. We are informed that the intestines of this 
animal, which had been scattered over the rock, were 
carefully scraped together by the more than half-famished 
men, and added to their meal. On the 29th September 
Dr. Richardson nearly lost his life whilst gallantly 
attempting to swim across the almost frozen Copper- 
mine River, with the object of establishing communi- 
cation with the opposite bank, in order that the re- 
mainder of the party might cross. He was hauled on 
shore in an almost lifeless condition, and being rolled 
up in blankets, was placed before a fire that had been 
kindled for the purpose. He gradually recovered con- 
sciousness, but his anxious attendants were horrified to 
find that his entire left side was deprived of feeling; 
this was due to the fact that, in their anxiety, they had 
exposed him too suddenly to the heat. Perfect sensation 
did not return until the following spring. 

On the ist of October the antlers and backbone of a 




deer killed the preceding year were found, and although 
they had been picked clean by the wolves and birds, 
the spinal marrow still remained, and this, though 
in a partially decomposed state, was regarded as a 
valuable prize by the starving party. The marrow was 
so acrid as to excoriate their lips and mouths. On the 
4th of October affairs were so serious that Mr. Back, 
the most active and vigorous of the party, volunteered 
to make his way as speedily as possible to Fort Enter- 
prise, in order to give information regarding the help- 
less condition of his companions, and to send the 
chief Akaitcho and his Indians, whom he hoped and 
expected to find at the fort, back to their succour 
and assistance. With this humane object in view he 
started off at once, accompanied by three of the most 
robust of the voyageurs. The remainder of the party 
plodded wearily after. 

Mr. Hood at this time was excessively feeble, conse- 
quent on the severe bowel complaints which the tripe de 
roche never failed to give him. This diet was occasionally 
varied by old shoes and whatever scraps of leather could 
be obtained. Some of the men being even, if possible, 
in a worse state, and so weak as to be almost unable 
to proceed, it was decided that Dr. Richardson and 
Mr. Hood should remain behind to look after them, 
while Franklin, with the remainder of the party, should 
push on to Fort Enterprise, twenty-four miles distant, 
and endeavour to obtain relief. This was considered as 
the wisest disposition of the party that could be suggested, 
and was accordingly acted upon. The seaman Hepburn, 
with four Canadians, namely Michel, Belanger, Credit, 
and Vaillant, were left with Dr. Richardson, and they 
were soon after joined by another voyageur named 




Perrault, who, starting with Franklin, found himself too 
weak to proceed, and therefore returned. 

On the nth October, Franklin, with his more than 
half-starved companions, after a long and painful journey 
of five days' duration, during which time the only food 
that passed their lips was some old shoe-leather and a 
little tripe de roche (for even the latter form of diet was 
scarce and not easily obtainable), reached Fort Enterprise, 
where they fully expected that their sufferings would 
end, and that they would be able to despatch relief to 
their more helpless comi'ades. Their feelings may be 
better imagined than described when, on their arrival, 
they found a perfectly deserted habitation — no traces 
of Akaitcho and the Indians they expected to find, and 
with whom they had arranged for supplies, and not a 
scrap of food to be found, not even a letter to inform 
them of the whereabouts of the Indians. There was, 
however, a short, hurriedly written note left by Mi*. 
Back, who had reached the house two days previously, 
informing them that he had started in search of the 
Indians, and in the event of his failing to find them, 
it was his intention to walk on to Fort Providence, 
whence, at any rate, he hoped he would be able to send 
help and succour to the remainder of the expedition; 
but a significant clause in the note added, that he 
much questioned whether he and his party, in their 
weak and debilitated state, would be able to accom- 
plish the journey. 

This was a terrible blow to Franklin and those with 
him, for they well knew that assistance, if it was to be 
obtained from Fort Providence, would be long in reach- 
ing them, and they were fully aware that immediate aid 
was absolutely necessary for their salvation. They were, 





however, somewhat relieved by finding some old deer- 
skins, which had beon thrown away by them during the 
preceding winter, and which, with some old bones that 
were raked up from the dirt-heap, and the addition of 
a little tripe de roche, would serve to prolong existence 
for a few days. At this time the temperature was 
ranging from 15° to 20* below zero. 

The condition of these poor fellows was now truly 
distressing. They were so weak and emaciated as to 
be unable to move except for a few yards at a time; 
they were afflicted with swellings in their joints, limbs, 
and other parts of their bodies; their eyeballs were 
dilated ; they spoke with hollow sepulchral voices ; and 
their mouths were raw and excoriated, the result of the 
fare on which they had subsisted. The story of the 
sufferings endured by this party is one of the most 
harrowing on record. It is impossible to imagine, much 
less describe, the terrible hardships and privations they 
experienced, borne as they were with manly fortitude 
and Christian resignation. 

On the 20th, as there were no signs of the approach 
of the Indians, from whom alone relief could be obtained, 
Franklin started with the intention of looking for them, 
taking with him two men. The other three were quite 
unable to move. On the following day he had the mis- 
fortune to break his snow-shoes, which necessitated his 
return to Fort Enterprise. The two men, however, 
went on by themselves in search of the Indians. The 
state of those left behind was now very deplorable. 
The little strength remaining to them was declining day 
by day ; when once seated it was only by exerting the 
greatest effort they could rise ; and then only with the 
assistance of one of their equally helpless companions. 






Whilst in this wretched condition a herd of reindeer 
was suddenly seen one evening close to the house — 

"The crescent moon, and crimson eve, 
Shone with a mingling light ; 
Tiie deer upon the grassy mead 
Were feeding full in sight ; " 

but, alas ! they were too weak, poor fellows, even to at- 
tempt to shoot at them, and the animals were permitted 
to graze and pass on unmolested. The sufferings of Tan- 
talus could not have been worse than those experienced 
by these starving men when they beheld plenty, which 
to them meant existence and life, at their door within 
gunshot range, without being able to avail themselves 
of the supply which had apparently been so providen- 
tially sent to them. 

On the 29th Dr. Richardson and Hepburn suddenly 
and unexpectedly made their appearance, bringing with 
them a sad tale of woe and horror. Of the eight men 
who were left behind at the last encampment, these two 
were the sole survivors. Poor Hood had been foully 
murdered by the man Michel, who, a few days later, was 
shot in self-defence by Dr. Richardson. The remainder 
had died of cold and starvation. It was a terrible and 
a ghastly tale they had to narrate — a story of murder 
and cannibalism, combined with almost unheard-of suffer- 
ings. Although it was never properly proved, it is more 
than certain that the man Michel had taken the lives of 
two of his companions (Belanger and Perrault), and had 
satisfied his unnatural appetite by feasting on the bodies 
of his victims. He had then murdered poor Hood by 
shooting him through the head, while Dr. Richardson 
and Hepburn were absent from the camp gathering 
tn^e de roche. He subsequently conducted himself in 






I ! 

such a threatening and domineering manner, that, under 
the circumstances, the Doctor felt fully justified in de- 
priving this monster in human form of life. 

This was the dreadful and mournful story they had to 
tell, and it was one that naturally produced a melancholy 
feeling of despondency in the minds of Franklin and 
his party. They were all much shocked at beholding the 
emaciated and haggard appearance of the Doctor and his 
companion, who were, however, in no worse condition, 
if so bad, than they were themselves. Hepburn having 
had the good luck to shoot a partridge before reaching 
the post, it was held before the fire a few minutes, then 
divided into six equal portions and ravenously devoured. 
It was the first morsel of flesh that had passed their 
lips for thirty-one days I Although herds of reindeer 
were frequently seen in close proximity to their quarters, 
and were even fired at on several occasions, they never 
succeeded in killing one, and they were far too weak 
to go in pursuit. 

On the evening of November ist, one of their party, 
Peltier, succumbed to stai-vation, and he was followed 
the next evening by Semandr^, another of the voyageurs. 
The united strength of the party was unequal to in- 
terring, or even removing, the corpses of their two com- 
panions, and the bodies had therefore to remain in the 
house, and in the same position in which the poor fellows 
had breathed their last. The party was now reduced to 
four, viz., Lieutenant Franklin, Dr. Richardson, Hep- 
bum, and a Canadian, named Adam, all in a state of 
great extremity. As their strength declined, so their 
minds exhibited symptoms of weakness and decay, and 
they feared their intellects were going. But their 
deliverance was at hand. On the 7 th November, when 





they had almost made up their minds that death must 
speedily release them from their terrible sufferings, three 
Indians unexpectedly made their appearance, having 
been despatched by Mr. Back, with all possible spee<l, 
to their succour. They brought with them some dried 
deer's meat and a few tongues, which being placed 
before the famished party, it is needless to say, was 
eagerly and greedily devoured ; but the feeling that 
they were saved, that deliverance from a long and 
painful death had actually arrived, acte^. with even 
more beneficial effects than the food that was thus 
providentially provided for them. It undoubtedly saved 
the life of Adam, whose death, prior to the arrival 
of relief, was momentarily expected. From this date 
their sufferings may be said to have terminated. The 
Indians not only procured game and fish, but watched 
over them with tender care, and ministered to their 
wants and comfort. 

On the 1 6th November, their health and strength 
having been suflficiently resuscitated, they took their 
departure from Fort Enterprise. Their feelings on quit- 
ting this place, where they had experienced a degree of 
misery scarcely to be paralleled in history, must have 
been indescribable. Nothing could exceed the kindness 
of their attendant Indians, who prepared the encamp- 
ments, obtained food, cooked it, and even fed them, 
while treating them at all times with the greatest 
tenderness and solicitude. At length, on the nth 
December, the poor wayworn and suffering travellers 
reached Fort Providence, where they once again experi- 
enced the agreeable sensation of being in a comfortable 
dwelling and in the enjoyment of comparative luxury, 
80 'different to the miseiies and hardships they had so 







recently undergone. Four days only were spent at Fort 
Providence, and on the i8th they reached Moose Deer 
Island, whera they had the happiness of meeting their 
companion Mr. Back, without whose energy and perse- 
verance they must inevitably have perished. 

The sufferings endured by this gallant young officer, 
during his long and arduous journey in search of assist- 
ance, were quite equal to those of the party he had left 
behind ; they may perhaps be better imagined when it 
is stated that for many days he and his three men sub- 
sisted on an old pair of leather trousers, a gun-cover, 
and a pair of old shoes, with a little tripe de roche that 
they succeeded in scraping off the i-ocks ! On the i6th 
October, twelve days after lie had left Franklin and the 
remainder of the party, one of his thi'ce men died from 
starvation and exhaustion. Tliis loss, very naturally, 
created a feeling of depression in the hearts of the sur- 
vivors, but still they persevered, i*esolutely determined 
to push onwards, knowing that the lives of the party 
they had left behind, depended entirely on their exer- 
tions. On the 4th Novemljer they, fortunately, fell in with 
a party of Indians, and were thus able to send help and 
succour to Franklin and his companions, as has already 
been stated, at a most critical moment. Having made 
the necessary aiTangements for the despatch of further 
supplies. Back pushed on to Fort Providence, which he 
safely reached on the 21st of November. Here letters 
for the expedition were received, and among them was 
the welcome announcement of the promotion of their 
gallant leader to the well-earned rank of commander, and 
the advancement of Back and poor Hood to the equally 
well-detierved rank of lieutenant. Franklin's commis- 
sion to a commander beat's date January i, 182 1. 




The winter was passed by the members of the expedi- 
tion at Moose Deer Island, and, under the circumstances, 
a very pleasant and happy one it was. Nothing could 
exceed the kindness and hospitality of the Hudson's 
Bay officials stationed at that post, and under their care 
Franklin and his companions gradually recovered their 
usual health and strength. On the 26lh May they left 
their hospitable quarters at Moose Deer Island, and 
visiting Fort Chipewyan on their way, reached Norway 
House on the 4th July. Ten days later they arrived 
at York Factory, thus bringing to a conclusion their 
"long, fatiguing, and disastrous" wanderings in North 
America, in accomplishing which they had journeyed, 
by land and by water, a distance of 5550 geographical 

On their anival in England Commander Franklin 
was immediately promoted by the Admiralty to the 
rank of captain, in recognition of his extraordinary and 
eventful journey, in the accomplishment of which he 
had displayed so much ability, courage, and energy. 
His captain's commission was dated November 20, 1822. 
He was, at about the same time, unanimously elected 
a Fellow of the Eoyal Society, for his great and in- 
valuable exertions in the cause of geographical science, 
whilst conducting one of the remarkable journeys 
tliat had ever been achieved. The history of it is of 
such thrilling interest that it is almost unnecessary to 
offer any apology for having referred to it at such 
length — at greater length, perhaps, than is warranted 
in a work pi'ofossing to treat more of geography than 
of the personal incidents connected with the lives of 
those who, by their dogged perseverance and undaunteil 
courage, have materially added to the greatness and 






prosperity of our country. The detailed and official 
narrative, written by the leader of the expedition after 
his return, should be rend by all who appreciate a 
truly heroic story, told in a modest and unassuming 
form. It cannot but fail to impress those who read it, 
with that strong and marked feeling of Christian reliance 
in an all-merciful Providence, that self-abnegation and 
devotion to those entrusted to his charge, and above all, 
that cheerful and reliant disposition which was so con- 
spicuous in Franklin, and which stamped him as a born 
leader of men. 

His companion and fellow-sufferer. Dr. Richardson, 
who was intimately acquainted with him, writes of his 
chief in the following terms : — 

"Franklin had a clieeiful buoyancy of miiul, which, sus- 
tained by a religious principle of a depth known only to his 
most intimate friends, was not depressed in the most gloomy 

Sir John Barrow also, in reference to this marvellous 
journey, writes : — 

" It adds another to the many splendid records of enter- 
prise, zeal, and energy of onr seamen — of that cool and in- 
trepid conduct which never forsakes thum on occasions the 
most trying — that unshaken constancy and perseverance in 
ritual ions the most arduous, the most distressing, and some- 
times the most hopeless, that can befall human beings ; and 
it furnishes a beautiful example of the triumph of mental and 
moral energy over mere brute 6tren<;th, in the simple fact 
that out of fifteen individuals, inured from their birth to cold, 
fatigue, and hunger, no less than ten (native landsmen) were 
Ro subdued by the a;:gravation of those evils to which they 
had been habituated, as to give themselves up to indifference, 
insubordination, and despair, and finally to sink down and 




(lie ; whilst of five British seamen unaccustomed to the severity 
of the climate, and the hardships attending it, only one fell, 
and that one by the hands of an assassin." 

In such a well-merited eulogy, every Englishman 
must heartily and cordially concur. 

Immediately on his return to England, Franklin set 
to work to write an account of the expedition, which 
was published the following year. This narrative, sup- 
plemented as it was by a valuable appendix from the 
pen of Dr. Richardson, assisted very materially in 
increasing the plight knowledge possessed at that time 
of the geography, geology, and natural history of the 
northern portion of North America, and especially with 
regard to that great extent of coast-line, hitherto prac- 
tically unknown, that is wasT^ed by the waters of the 
Polar Sea. 

Franklin's personal appearance at this period is 
thus described by one of his relatives : — " His features 
and expression were grave and mild, and very benig- 
nant ; his build thoroughly that of a sailor ; his stature 
rather below the middle height; his look very kind, 
and his manner very quiet, though not without a 
certain dignity, as of one accustomed to command 

During the period he was employed in compiling the 
narrative of his adventurous journey, he was not, appa- 
rently, prevented from finding some little time to devote 
to his private affairs, and especially to cultivating and 
developing the friendship which he had foi*med with the 
young poetess (see note, page 127 ante), whose acquaint- 
ance ho had made prior to his departure in 1 818 in the 
Trent. So well did he press his suit that he succeeded 
in winning the young lady's afifections, and on the 19th 




of August 1823 Captain Franklin was married to Miss 
Eleanor Anne Porden. This lady, as has already been 
observed, possessed great poetic talent, and had pub- 
lished an epic poem in two volumes entitled " Coeur de 
Lion." She had also written a clever scientific poem 

(From a paintivij in the iMMgegsion of Rev. John Philip (Jell.) 

called "The Veils," for which she i-eceived the unusual 
distinction (at least for an English ^ady) of being elected 
a member of the somewhat exclu.ive " Institut " of 

Shortly after her acquaintance with Captain Franklin 
had ripened into friendship, she wrote a little poem, 




which was published over the nom de plume of " Green - 
stockings," in which, assuming the character of an 
Eskimo maiden, she implores the return of Franklin to 
the wild north-land she loves, where she has — 

"Gathered thee dainties most rare — 
The wild birds that soar, and the fish of the sea, 
The moose and the reindeer, the fox and the bear, 
In a snow-mantled grotto, I guard them for thee." 

It is credibly reported that, prior to their marriage, 
a mutual agreement was made that, under no circum- 
stances, was their union to preclude him from accepting 
any service, no matter how dangerous or perilous it might 
prove, that might be required of him. His country 
was to be his first love, and his wife must be prepared 
to allow him to go wherever duty and his coimtry 
demanded. It is well known how well and faithfully 
the compact then entered upon was, in so short a time, 
to be put to the test and scrupulously adhered to. 

On the 3rd June 1824 their only child, a daughter, 
was born, and was named after her mother. Mrs. 
Franklin's health from this time gradually declined, 
and when Franklin started on his next expedition, it 
was only too apparent he would never meet his accom- 
plished wife in this world again. ^ 

' The parents of Mrs. Franklin dieil before they were married. She 
had an only sister married to Mr. Kay, whose daughter was Franklin's 
favourite niece. Her brother, his nephew, entered the navy, and sub- 
sequently served with Franklin in the Rainbow. 




" Oui-8 the wild life in tumult still 
To range." — The Corsair. 

We will now turn to the expedition, under the command 
of Lieutenant Parry. He was despatched, it will be 
remembered, for the express purpose of attempting the 
accomplishment of the north- west passage, by sailing 
through Baffin's Bay and Lancaster Sound, Franklin 
having been directed to co-operate with him in the 
event of their meeting in the Arctic Seas. The ships 
selected for this service were the Ileda of 375 tons, and 
the Grqm' of 1 80 tons, the latter being commanded by 
Lieutenant Liddon. They were equipped and prepared 
under the direct sui)ervision of Lieutenant Parry, who 
spared no trouble, or pains, in order to render them 
thoroughly efficient for the important service on which 
they were to be employed. 

The expedition left England on the i ith of May 1819. 
On the 15th of June Cape Farewell, the southern extre- 
mity of Greenland, was sighted. The ships then sailed 
up Davis Strait, and entered Baffin's Bay, where they 
encountered much ice, and experienced great difficulty 

in forcing a passage through. At length, after much 

146 . 




incessant labour, requiring constant and unceasing 
vigilance on the part of the officers, the ships entered 
Lancaster Sound on the 4th of August, sailing over the 
so-called Croker Mountains, which Captain Ross had, 
the previous year, hyi)othetically placed across the 
entrance.^ Propelled by a fresh and favomable breeze, 
the ships, sailing in a westerly direction without meeting 
with ice either of sufficient magnitude or quantity to 
impede their progress, entered a large strait, which was 
deservedly named after Sir John Barrow, the Secre- 
tary of the Admiralty, the indefatigable promoter and 
supporter of Arctic research. Hopes ran high as they 
proceeded, and some even flattered themselves that the 
north-west passage was almost an accomplished fact, but 
their joyful aspimtions were soon to be abruptly and 
rudely shattered, for on reaching the neighbourhood 
of Leopold Island their progress was ari-ested by a large 
barrier of ice which stretched in a solid mass across the 
strait, and appeared to defy penetration. Being unable, 
therefore, to proceed any further in a westerly direction. 
Parry turned to the southward, and sailed up a large 
inlet which he named Prince Regent Inlet, when was 
observed for the first time ** the curious phenomenon of 
the dii-ective power of the needle becoming so weak as 
to be completely overcome by the attraction of the ship, 
so that the needle might now be said to point to the 
north pole of tho ship." The fact being that they were 




^ When the truth cunnected with this discovery was made kiiowu 
in EugUud, it gave rise to the fullowing epigramniiitic lines — 

"Old Siubad tells us, he a whale had seeu, 
So like the laud, it seemed an island green i 
But Ross has tuld the converge of this tale, 
The laud he saw was— ver^ like a whale/" 





approaching the Magnetic Pole, and its influence on the 
needle was felt to such an extent, as to render the com- 
passes so sluggish as to be comparatively useless. It may 
be of interest here to remark that Sir James Ross, who 
subsequently discovered the North Magnetic Pole, was at 
that time serving as a midshipman on board the Hecla. 

Being again stopped by the ice, the ships returned to 
the northward to find, to their intense surprise and 
delight, that the barrier of ice in Barrow's Strait which 
had shortly before checked their progress had altogether 
disappeared, leaving a broad channel of open water to 
the westward, in the direction of which the ships were 
steered. Light and adverse winds and fogs, however, 
rendered their progress slow. On the 22nd of August 
they passed the mouth of what appeared to be a broad and 
extensive inlet to the northward, to which the name of 
Wellington Channel was given, and on the 3rd of Sep- 
tember they had the extreme satisfaction of crossing the 
I loth meridian of west longitude, thus becoming entitled 
to the reward of ;^5ooo, granted by Parliament to any 
person, or ship, who should succeed in penetrating so far 
to the westward inside the Arctic circle (see page 80). 
A headland off Melville Island, off which they were 
at the time, was named Cape Bounty to commemorate 
the event. 

Although they had thus succeeded with comnarative 
ease in crossing the iioth meridian of longitude, they 
found the ice beyond of such a nature as to entirely 
preclude all possibility of further advance, and as the 
navigable season had come to an end, Parry secured 
the ships in a snug harbour on the south coast of Mel- 
ville Island, which he named Winter Harbour. Before, 
however, the vessels could be placed in a position of 




absolute security, it was found necessary to cut a channel 
in the ice more than two miles in length, through which 
the ships were dragged into their winter quarters, an 
occupation that occupied the crews the greater part of 
three days. 

Owing to the care and ingenuity of Lieutenant Parrv, 
the winter passed pleasantly and happily. Theatrical 
entertainments were instituted, plays were written and 
acted, and a newspaper, TTie North Georgian Gazette 
and Winter Chronicle^ was periodically published. In 
the spring, and before the ships were released from their 
icy bondage, Parry explored the country in the vicinity 
of their winter quarters, taking with him a light cart 
dragged by men, in which the provisions, tent, &c., were 
carried. He had not then commenced the system of 
sledging which he subsequently introduced, and which 
was afterwards brought to great perfection by Sir Leo- 
pold M'Clintock. Parry returned on the 15th of June, 
having travelled about 180 miles, at an average daily 
progress of about twelve miles. It is a curious fact that 
more than thirty years after, the marks of the wheels of 
his cart were found by Lieutenant M'Clintock, as plain 
and distinct as if they had only then recently been made. 

On the ist of August the ice cleared away suffi- 
ciently to enable the ships to make a start, and every 
effort was made to push to the westward, but with- 
out success, their progress being effectively stopped 
by an interminable barrier of " thick-ribb'd ice." As 
the season was greatly advanced, and as the ships were 
not provisioned or prepared in any way for a second 
winter. Parry determined to relinquish further attempts 
at discovery, and announced his intention of returning 
to England, being satisfied with having accomplished 




more than half the distance to Bering's Strait. In arriv- 
ing at this conclusion, Parry acted with that judgment 
and prudence which, combined with daring and energy 
at the right moment, were the conspicuous characteristics 
of this accomplished and successful navigator. On the 
return of the expedition to England, Parry received his 
well-earned promotion to the rank of commander, and in 
the following February was unanimously elected a Fellow 
of the Royal Society. 

Commander Parry was not the man to remain idle, or 
content with what had been achieved, when there was 
yet so much to be done, in the way of geographical 
exploration, so, immediately on his return, he advocated 
very strongly the desirability of prosecuting further 
search for a north west passage, but, he contended, that 
the greatest chance of success would in his opinion be 
obtained by the despatch of an expedition through 
Hudson's Strait and Bay, and thence to skirt along the 
northern shore of the continent of America. So much 
confidence did the Admiralty repose, and very deservedly, 
in his opinion, and in his capacity as the leader of an 
expedition, that although his two ships, the lleda and 
Griper^ were only paid off on the 21st of December 1820, 
Commander Parry was appointed on the 30th of the 
same month, to the command of an expedition consisting 
of the Fury and irecla, with directions to carry out 
the search for a north-west passage through Hudson's 
Strait and by Repulse ]3ay. Lieutenant Lyon was 
appointed to the command of the Gnper. 

Franklin, it must be remembered, had not yet re- 
turned from his wonderful land journey towards the 
shores of the Arctic Sea, and Parry hoped that he might 
possibly be afforded the opportunity of meeting his old 




friend, as he sailed along the northern coast of the 
American continent. 

It is needless to enter into the details relative to this 
second expedition of Parry's. It was carried out with 
all the energy and ability for which that distinguished 
officer was so famed, but he had many difficulties to 
contend with, and although the expedition did nob 
return to England until the autumn of 1823, the chief 
geographical result was the discovery of the Hecla and 
Fury Strait. Beyond this, the ships were unable to 
proceed, and Parry was reluctantly compelled to abandon 
all further attempts for the discovery of a navigable 
passage in that direction. 

Immediately alter his return to England he was 
attacked by a serious illness, and was for some time in 
a very precarious and critical condition. On his re- 
covery, one of the first letters he wrote was to his old 
friend Franklin, in reply to a letter from that officer 
congratulating him on his safe return. It is inserted 
here to show how much he admired and appreciated the 
work accomplished by Franklin. It whs as follows : — 

Stamfoud II ill, October 23, 1823. 

"My deau Franklin,— I can sincerely assure you, that it 
was with no ordinary feeling of gratification, that I read your 
kind letter of congratulation on my return. Of the splendid 
achievements of yourfielf, and your brave cumpauions in 
enterprise, I can hardly tru-st myself to speak, for I am 
apprehensive of not conveying what, indeed, can never be 
conveyed adequately in words, my unbounded admiration of 
what you have, under the blessing of God, been enabled to 
perform, and the manner in which you have performed it. 
To place you in the rank of travellers, above Park, and 
lleame, and others, would, in my entimation, be nothing in 





comparison of your merits. But in you and your party, my 
dear friend, we see so sublime an instance of Christian con- 
fidence in the Almighty, of the superiority of moral and 
religious energy over mere brute strength of body, that it is 
impossible to contemplate your sufferings and preservation, 
without a sensation of reverential awe 1 I have not yet seen 
your book, and have only read the Quarterly Review. Your 
letter was put into my hand at Shetland, and I need not be 
ashamed to say that I cried over it like a child. The tears I 
shed, however, were those of pride and pleasure — pride ut 
being your fellow-countryman, brother officer, and friend ; 
pleasure in seeing the virtues of the Christian adding their 
first and highest charm to the unconquerable perseverance 
and splendid talents of the officer and the man. I have a 
promise of your book this day from my brother-in-law, Mr. 
Martineau, with whom (surrounded by all my family) I am 
staying for a week at Stamford HilL I cannot, at present, 
enter into any shop business — I mean geographical details ; 
but I long very much to see the connection between our 
discoveries. Ours are small, for our success has been small 
on this occasion. Briefly (for the doctors insist upon it), the 
north-eastern portion of America consists of a singular penin- 
sula, extending from Repulse Bay in 66^° latitude to 69!°, and 
resembling a bastion at the corner of a fort, the gorge of the 
bastion being three days of Esquimaux journey, across from 
Repulse Bay to Akkoolee, one of their settlements, or stations, 
on the opposite or Polar Sea side. 

"This great southern indentation corresponds, I imagine, 
with your route, which led you into 66^°, I think, in pro- 
ceeding eastward ; but I have really so vague an idea of your 
proceedings, geographically, that I can, at present, say very 
little to gratify curiosity concerning the connection of our 

" I shall have volumes to say, or write, to you hereafter, but 
do not be alarmed at the supposition of my expecting volumes 
from you in return. 

" I shall only add that I am, my dear Franklin, your ever 
faithful and most sincerely admiring friend, 

«* W. E. Parry." 





Parry was, for his service while in command of this 
expedition, promoted to the rank of post-captain, his 
commission being ante-dated to the completion of his 
one year's service as a commander. 

Although Captain Parry had failed on two occasions 
in his attempts to discover the long sought for passage, 
he was still fully persuaded not only of its existence, 
but of the feasibility of its discovery by way of Lancaster 
Sound, and thence, either by Prince Regent Inlet to the 
southward, or by Bairow's Strait to the west. These 
views were fully laid before the Government, the members 
of which had such confidence in the judgment and ability 
of this distinguished ofiioer, that they resolved, and 
without loss of time, to despatch another expedition, on 
the lines indicated by him, in quest of the north-west 
passage, and the entire conduct of it was, very properly, 
entrusted to Captain Parry. It would surely be a 
valuable aid and assistance to our existing geographical 
knowledge of the unexplored and unknown regions of 
the world, if the Government of the present day shared 
the same liberal and enlightened views, regarding re- 
search in high latitudes, as influenced those that procured 
the despatch of Parry's third expedition in 1824. 

In order that the search for the passage should be 
complete, and also to guard against failure as much as 
possible, it was resolved to send a second expedition to 
carry out exploration by land, along the northern shore 
of the North American coast. This was in accordance 
with a scheme submitted by Captain Franklin, who 
proposed that an expedition, on somewhat similar lines 
to his last one, should be sent to the mouth of the 
Mackenzie River ; there the party were to divide, and 
while one portion of it was to proceed by sea along the 


"i ! 


i !: 

'1 1 




coast to the westwavtl, the remainder would be detaclieil 
and sent to tho eastward, with directions to survey the 
const as far as the Copi)ormine lliver, and so connect 
previous discoveries. 

Nothing daunted by the terrible suflFerings he had .so 
recently experienced, Fi*nnklin sought for, and obtained, 
the supreme command of this expedition ; uhilo his old 
friend and companion, Dr. Richardson, who had vohm- 
toered to accompany liim, was selected to take charge 
of the exploration of that portion of the coast alluded to 
iil)ove, situated between tlie Mackenzie and Coppermine 
llivers. Not content witli tho despatch of these two 
expeditions, oi-ders wore sent to Captain I3oechoy to 
pi-oceed with H.M.S. /Wo.w;//t* under his command to 
Ivotzebue inlet in Bering's Strait, with the object of 
meeting Captain IVunklin, in tho event of a successful 
termination to his journey, and to convey him and bi.s 
party to Canton, or the Sandwich Islands, as might seem 
most advisable ; or to carry out any other instnictions 
that Captain Franklin might think pro|)er to i.ssue. 
Lieutenant Dack was again sissociatcd 'vith his old 
(!hief; and Mr. Kendall, Admiralty unite, who had 
recently served under Captain liyon, in Parry's last 
expedition formed owv of the party.*- Mr. Dnunmond, 
on the special recommendation of Professor Hooker, 
was also appointed in the capacity of assistant natiu'alist. 
All tho details connected with tho litting out oi tho 
expedition, :uid rv«Mi the rou<c (o be l'ollowe«l, 

' Tlio Jtlossom wiin at thiit timo Nliitiuiic«l in tho I'noiiie, uiiiKr 
tliu coiiiinuiid of C'aiittiin Hccohcy, vhu hoivciI uh lirxt liuuteiiaiit 
uiulor Franklin wlioii th>i6 oftiour was in uoiiunaiiil uf the TroiU 
ill i8i8. 

'•* Mr. Kendall subsoqiionftly married tlio fu-'onrite niece of Sir .Fnlin 
Franklin, tlic daughter of Mrn. Franklin's only liHcr. 


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■ »-«|«v^nii)n ; wliilf liis old 

I\:« »'lrton, vvlio h.-id voliiii- 

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• i« M.*t.k*'ii/,ie .'ijxl ( opiuMTiiuic 

vifh liio d«>'^pnt>li of tlx'so twu 

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liixwei^d N»iili H..\!.S. /)Vt'..,'^(///( ' iindrr his .omnuuid Jo 
Kot/tdiiiH iuU't in ficiin^.'^ Sti-iHi, with tho <»liiHct i.t' 
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tormina! iwii to lii-< lournov. :ti'.d :■■ •■• fi -n iiijii oid Lis 

pftrtv (o • ;i(;Mio. i>l tin "* ••' • ' ' •• t I. .trcih 

mo.-of ;4 ('. 1- .( |. . I • ' : ' -t-rt! Ml - 

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Lii'UU'mf't I'- • •■ ..; ■ :4^.^^cw•ia^ I •. ir. nis '"Id 

(duft , ai'd ^U- ^ • ' t I, Adinii'ilt> uialo. who had 
I'T'-ntl) >• M ! ,d»'j' « apt.ain ! yon, in Parr\\ lav' 
. \p«'ilitioo. i-'ini, i o]i< -J" ilii> jwnty- -.Mr. {Jninnnond. 
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\\ .IS alxi .ipp. tint I'd ui t lio capai i»y "f a-.NJstaiit t^atniali-'t. 
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^istauoH i)j Lot. Jolin /iarrow, by ftriii.snon oj Uenyy Grava d^ Co.J 





were left entirely to Captain Franklin, who personally 
superintended the equipment, and made the necessary 
arrangements with the Hudson's Bay Company's officials 
for the conveyance of his people, stores, and provisions 
to the Great bear Lake. In accordance with his wishes 
three boats were specially constructed, combining light- 
ness and portability with seaworthiness and stability, 
with a view of their easy transport over the numerous 
l)ortage8 and various rapids that would be met with 
l)efore reaching the Arctic Sea, on which it was intended 
they should be used. The largest of these boats was 
twenty-six feet long, and was capable of carrying eight 
l^eople; the other two were each twenty-four feet in 
length, and would hold seven men. 

These l»oats, with all the men and stores required 
for the expedition, were sent out by the annual Hud- 
son's Bay ship sailing to York Factory in 1824, whence 
they were imme<liately despatched to the (*reat Bear 
Lake. The otticera of the expedition did not leave 
England until February 16, 1825. They went out by 
way of New York, and travelling through the States 
and Canada, reached Fort (Cumberland, on the Saskat- 
chewan, on the i5th Juno. Before, however, this stage 
in their joumey iiad been acconiidished, Franklin, to 
his inexpressible sorrow, roceive«l the mournful intelli- 
gence of the death of his beloved wife, who had breathed 
her last, six short days only iifter her husband hud bidden 
her farewell. This was a great blow to Captain Frank- 
lin, although ho was not altogether unprepared for the 
<listressing int(?lligcnco, for he was well aware of the 
delicate, not to say critical, state of Mrs. Franklin's 
health prior to his departure from England. She was 
only twenty-nine years of age when she passed away. 



I i 

I 1!! 

I i' 

: I ii> 
1i ' ii; 

kl r. 


Fort Cumberland was left the day after their arrival. 
Pushing rapidly on they overtook the boats and the 
remainder of tbe party that had travelled vid York 
Factory, on June 29th, in the Methye River, arriving at 
Fort Chipewyan on the 15th of the following month. 
This post was left on the 25th, and four days afterwards 
the expedition reached Fort Resolution, the only estab- 
lishment of any kind situated on Slave Lake. Here 
they remained for six days making the necessary 
arrangements with the Indians for the supply of pi-o- 
visions, &c., to last them during the forthcoming winter. 
Embarking in their canoes on the 3i8t July, they 
crossed the lake and steered for the Mackenzie River. 
Hitherto they had been travelling along the same route 
that Franklin had adopted when journeying to Fort 
Enterprise in 1820, but after leaving Fort Resolution 
they inclined more to the westward, entering the Mac- 
kenzie River on the 2nd August. In a couple of days, 
they made such good progress that they arrived at Fort 
Simpson, the principal dopot of the Hudson's Bay 
Company in that locality. They left the next day 
and pushing onwards, obtained their first view of the 
Rocky Mountains, the general appearance of wliicli much 
resembled, in Franklin's opinion, the oast end of the 
island of Jaii va. The river was, in many places, 
over two miles in breadth, flowing smoothly, though 
swiftly, towards the sea. They were not troubled or 
inconvenienced by either rapids or their attendant por- 
tages — indeed, one is, as a rule, the corollary of the 
other— and they were therefore enabled to proceed with 
such rapidity that they reached the Huds:>n's Bay post 
at Fort Norman on August 7th. 

As thei*e yet remained a few weeks of the travelling 




season in which exploration could be canied out before 
the winter set in, Franklin determined to lose no 
time in prosecuting the work entrusted to him. He 
therefore, with this object in view, made the follow- 
ing arrangements, which were duly carried out by the 
partiefi concerned. Lieutenant Rack, accompanied by 
Mr. Dease,^ was ordered to proceed at once to Great 
Bear Lake (a distance that would take him about four 
days to accomplish), on the banks of which he was 
to select the site for a house, and immediately to 
set the men to work on its construction. Ue was also 
directed to make all the necessary arrangements for 
pa«!sing as comfortable a winter a.s, under the circum- 
stances, it was possible to do. Di-. Richardson was 
despatched, at his own special request, to explore the 
northern shore of Rear Lake; whilst Franklin himself, 
with Mr. Kendall as his companion, started in one of the 
boats, with a crew of six Englishmen, a native guide, and 
an Eskimo intorpreter,^ for the mouth of the Mackenzie, 
in order to endeavour to obtain information regarding 
the state and condition of the ice on the Arctic Sea, 
and their prospects of pushing on the following year. 
He was also desirous of ascertaining tlie general trend 
of the coast, east and west of the mouth of the 
Mackenzie River, and of satisfying himself as to the 
chance of their b( ng able to obtain a supply of pro- 
visions along the coast. 

The different parties separated to carry out their 
respective instructions on the 8th of August. Two days 

' Mr. Dease wm an officer of the Hudson'ti Bay Coiniiany who hud 
volunteered for, and been attached to, the expedition at tlie ipecial 
request of Captain Franklin. 

^ This wa« Augustus, who was with Franklin iu hiii previuui 
expedition to the Arctic Sea. 








BuWquently l*ruuklin reached Fort Good Hope, the 
most northern Hudson's Bay station in the territory, 
much pleased with the speed and general handiness of 
his English built boat, in which he had accomplished a 
distance of no less than 3 1 2 miles in about sixty hours ; 
but this i-apid travelling was in a great measure due to 
a fair wind and a swift current. Foi-t Good Hope was 
left the following day, and the sea was eventually i-cached 
on the 14th. Captain Franklin beoi's testimony to the 
general accuracy of Mackenzie's survey, ^me of this 
traveller's positions were, it is true, found to l)e some- 
what at vaiiance with those determined by Franklin, 
but the differences in latitude and longitude were ascribed 
to the possibility of their having been laid down by 
magnetic bearings, and not by astronomiail observa- 
tions Fiunklin i)ays a just and generous tribute to 
the energy, courage, and skill shown by Mackenzie 
during his arduous and trying journey. During their 
voyage down the river they met several parties of 
Indians, with all of whom they had friendly intercourse, 
and from whom they received small supplies of fresh 
))rovisions, although at first they were somewhat shy 
and suspicious at the unexpected approach and appear- 
ance of the white men. 

The sea, to their great joy, was found to be entirely 
free of ice, while " seals and black and white whales were 
sporting on its waves." Altogether it was a sight that 
gladdened their hearts, as it gave rise to hopeful antici- 
pations of ultimate success. 

On reaching the coast a silk Union Jack, worked 
by the weak and feeble fingers of his sick wife, was 
unfurled. This flag was given to her husband, as he 
was on the point of leaving England, with strict injunc- 




lions that it wtu> not to be displayed until the expe- 
dition had reached the Polar Sea. When Franklin 
bade her farewell it was with the conviction that the 
hand of death was upon her, and that he should see 
her no more in this world ; but obedient to the call of 
his country, and exhorte<l by her own earnest pleadings 
that he should proceed on the important, though dan- 
gerous, service for which he had been selected, with his 
heart overflowing with feelings of sorrow and despond- 
ency, he accepted the gift, a.ssuring his wife that he 
should not fail to think of her when he planted it, a.s 
he felt sure he mould, on the wild and inhospitable 
shores of the Arcti«' Heu. It must therefore have been 
with mingled feelings of joy and sorrow, that he saw 
this hist souvenir of his dearly loved wife fluttering out 
bravely in the wind, in full view of the Polar Ocean, 
in fulfilmeiit of his promise. In a letter to his sister- 
in-law, written shoitly after his return to their winter 
quarters, Franklin, in alluding to his having reached 
the sea on the i6th of August, writes — " Here was first 
displayed the flag which my lamented Eleanor made, 
and you can imagine it was with heartfelt emotion I 
first saw it unfurled; but in a short time I derived 
great pleasure in looking at it." 

The i)Osition of the mouth of the Mackenzie River 
was found to be in latitude 69° 29' N., and 135° 41' W. 
longitude. Depositing a record of the progress of the 
expedition thus far for the information of Captain Parry, 
in the event of that c3icer reaching the neighbourhood, 
and making it as conspicuous as possible by the erec- 
tion of a long pole, to the top of which was hoisted a 
blue and red flag, and having thoroughly explored the 
countiy in the vicinity of the mouth of the river, they 





commenced the return journey, and without any event 
worthy of special record reached their winter quarters 
on the Great Bear Lake on the evening of the 5th of 
September. They found that Dr. Richardson had re- 
turned a few days before them, having made a successful 
survey of the lake to its north-east termination, where 
it is nearest to the Coppermine lliver. 

Here at Fort Franklin, for so the post had been named 
in compliment to their leader during his temporary 
absence, the members of the expedition were for the 
ilrst time united. They found the houses that had been 
erected for their accommodation by their comrade Mr. 
Back, both commodious and comfortable, and all that, 
under the circumstances, could be desired. The estab- 
lishment consisted of three buildings, which were so con- 
structed as to form the three sides of a square. The 
centre one was appropriated to the officers, one waa 
allotted to the men as their quarters, and the other was 
used as a store and provision house. The number of 
persons to be accommodated in this establishment was no 
less than fifty, viz. — five officers (including Mr. Dease), 
nineteen seamen and marines, nine Canadians, and two 
Eskimos, the remainder being made up of Indians, men, 
women, and children, whose services were required for 
the purposes of hunting, fishing, and for the general 
supply of game and other provisions. The position of 
Fort Franklin was ascertained to be latitude 65° 11' 56", 
and longitude 123° 12' 44". 

The winter passed pleasantly enough, and although 
the cold was great it was not insufferably so, the 
lowest recorded temperature being 49° below zero 
(Fahr.). The Indian hunters succeeded in procuring 
a fair amount of game and fish during the winter, 




although in February, in consequence of a temporary 
failure in obtaining supplies, they were necessarily re- 
duced to a very short allowance of provisions. The officers 
occupied their spare time in taking thermometrical, 
magnetic and atmospheric observations, besides others 
of a scientific nature. They likewise superintended the 
school that Franklin established during the winter months, 
as well as the strict observance of the regular routine 
that was wisely instituted. As another boat was con- 
sidered desirable, the carpenters were busily employed on 
the construction of one on somewhat similar lines to the 
Lion, the boat they had brought out from England with 
them. This boat, when completed, was called the Reliance. 
The arrangements for the summer campaign were 
briefly as follows : — Captain Franklin, accompanied by 
Lieutenant Back, was to explore by boat along the north 
coast of North America to the Wv^stward of the mouth 
of the Mackenzie River, if possible to Icy Cape. Dr. 
Richardson, with Mr. Kendall as his colleague and com- 
panion, was to undertake the eastern line of exploration, 
including the examination of the coast from the mouth 
of the Mackenzie to the Coppermine River, returning to 
Fort Franklin before the winter set in. Mr. Dease 
would remain at Fort Franklin with directions to keep the 
establishment well stored with provisions for use during 
the ensuing winter, in the event of Franklin failing in 
his attempt to communicate with the Blossom (see page 
1 54 ante). It was, therefore, necessary to make provision 
on the chance of the entire pai-ty having to pass another 
winter at the post. Fourteen men, including two Cana- 
dians, with Augustus the Eskimo interpreter, under Cap- 
tain Fitinklin and Lieutenant Back, with the two boats 
Lion and Reliance^ formed the western party ; while ten 















1^ llli^ 









(716) 872-4503 







men, with the two smaller boats, the Dolphin and Unions 
under the command of Dr. Richardson and Mr. Kendall, 
were entrusted with the eastern line of exploration. 

Everything being in readiness, a start was made on 
the 24th June. The two parties travelled in company 
down the Mackenzie River until the 3rd July, when 
they reached that part of the river where it bifurcated 
to the east and to the west, Franklin pursuing his course 
along the latter route, while Richardson proceeded by 
the former. They were all supplied with provisions to 
last an anticipated absence of one hundred days. 

Franklin reached the coast on the 7 th of July, and 
on the same day met a tribe of Eskimos numbering 
about three hundred. At first their intercourse was 
friendly enough ; but the cupidity of these savages being 
excited by the articles of, to them, priceless value that 
they saw, an attempt was made to pillage the boats, 
but this outrage was frustrated by the coolness and 
forbearance of Franklin and his men. It afterwards 
transpired that a massacre of the whole expedition had 
been arranged, and was only prevented by the vigilance 
and preparedness of the party. On arrival at the sea they 
were intensely mortified to find that their progress to the 
westward was checked by heavy masses of ice. These, 
however, in the course of four or five days, during 
which time the expedition was compelled to remain 
inactive, cleared away sufiiciently to leave a passage 
along the coast, and so enabled them to push on. Gales 
of wind and fogs were unfortunately very prevalent, 
and sadly interfered with their progress. The boats 
were also very roughly handled, and were frequently 
in danger of being crushed by the large fragments of 
ice with which they were constantly coming into con- 



tact, and which had the effect of causing them to leak 
considerably. In spite of all these drawbacks, they 
steadily nersevered, using oars and sail according to 
circumstances, watching and taking advantage of every 
opportunity for pushing onwards, battling against all 
difficulties, and striving to their utmost each day to 
beat the record of the last in the distance accomplished. 
Their general course was as nearly as possible in a 
westerly direction, along a low flat shelving coast, in 
water so shallow as to compel them to keep at a distance 
of from two to three miles from the shore. As accurate 
a survey of the coast as was practicable was made as 
they proceeded ; it was, however, found to be devoid of 
all bays or harbours in which a ship could obtain shelter, 
or remain securely at anchor. 

They were not infrequently detained by bad weather, 
fogs, and impenetrable ice, and on one occasion the deten- 
tion was for no less a period than eight consecutive days. 
During these unavoidable stoppages the members of the 
expedition were not inactive, for they would seize on 
these opportunities to take astronomical observations, 
as well as those to determine the magnetic inclination, 
variation, and intensity, besides observations on the rise, 
fall, and direction of the tides. The geology of the 
country along which they travelled was also carefully 
studied, and many valuable specimens of natural history 
were added to their collection. 

During all this time the torments they endured from 
the pertinacious attacks of countless swarms of musqui- 
toes were indescribable ; they were regarded as quite the 
greatest of the sufferings they were called upon to endure ! 
It is a somewhat significant fact that a point of land on 
the north coast of America was, during the journey, 





named Point Griffin by Captain Franklin, presumably 
after the lady who subsequently became his wife. 

At length, on the 1 8th of August, having traced the 
coast westward, from the mouth of the Mackenzie River, 
for 374 miles, Captain Franklin very reluctantly came 
to the conclusion that further advance would be im- 
prudent, taking into consideration the lateness of the 
season, and the self-evident fact that he had only 
traversed half the distance between the Mackenzie River 
and Icy Cape. Before he could hope to accomplish the 
remainder of the distance that intervened, winter would 
have set in, and the Blossom would, in consequence, 
have sailed to the southward. He therefore wisely de- 
cided to return. To the most extreme point seen to 
the westward he gave the name of Cape Beechey. 

It is interesting to note here that the Blossom had 
successfully carried out her part of the programme, 
and was off Icy Cape during the middle of August. 
Thence Captain Beechey despatched one of his boats to 
the eastward, in the hope of meeting Franklin. This 
boat actually arrived on the 25th of August within 160 
miles of the position reached by Franklin when he 
resolved to turn back a week before. It would not, how- 
ever, have been possible for Franklin to have accomplished 
the distance that lay between them, before the Blossom's 
boat returned to the westward, so that had he persevered 
in hopes of meeting it, he and his party would in all 
probability have perished during the winter. It was 
therefore a wise and discreet resolve on Franklin's part 
to return. The extreme position reached was latitude 
70° 26' N., and 148° 52' W. longitude. The return 
journey was very similar to the outward one, except 
that they suffered more from cold and less from mus- 



quitoes ! Through the friendly warning of the Eskimos, 
they were able to frustrate a plot to assassinate the whole 
party that had been laid by a tribe of hostile Indians 
near the mouth of the Mackenzie. This diabolical scheme 
was prevented by their taking a different route on their 
return to the one along which they had travelled on 
their outward journey. The Mackenzie was reached on 
the 30th August, and the expedition arrived, intact and 
in good health, at Fort Franklin on the 21st September. 
The total number of geographical miles travelled by the 
party since leaving Fort Franklin until their return was 
2048, a third of which distance was through a perfectly 
unknown country. 

They were much elated to find that the travellers to 
the eastward had also made a very successful journey, 
having succeeded in tracing no less than 863 miles of un- 
discovered coast-line situated between the Mackenzie and 
Coppermine Rivers ; they returned to Fort Franklin by 
way of the Coppermine River, reaching that post on the 
ist September. Like the western party they reported 
having experienced strong gales of wind, and their pro- 
gress was much hampered by ice, in which their boats 
were often seriously injured, being frequently exposed to 
the risk of being crushed altogether. They met several 
parties of Eskimos, all of whom afforded convincing proofs 
of their dexterity in the art of pilfering, and it was 
only by the exercise of great tact and forbearance, on 
the part of Dr. Richardson and his people, that an open 
rupture was avoided. An accurate survey of the coast 
was made by Lieutenant Kendall, while Dr. Richardson 
made many valuable observations in connection with the 
geology and natural history of the country. 

A large bay, discovered on the 22 nd of July, was 

f ! 







named Franklin Bay; in conferring this name upon it, the 
Doctor, in his narrative, indulges in the following eulo- 
gistic remarks regarding his able and talented leader : — 

"In bestowing the name of Franklin on this remarkable 
bay, I paid an appropriate compliment to the officer under 
whose orders and by whose arrangements the delineation of 
all that is known of the northern coast of the American 
continent has been effected ; with the exception of the parts 
in the vicinity of Icy Cape discovered by Captain Beechey. 

" It would not be proper, nor is it my intention, to descant 
on the professional merits of my superior officer ; but after 
having served under Captain Franklin for nearly seven years 
in two successive voyages of discovery, I trust I may be 
allowed to say, that however high his brother officers may 
rate his courage and talents, either in the ordinary line of his 
professional duty, or in the field of discovery, the hold he 
acquires upon the affections of those under his command, by a 
continued series of the most conciliatory attentions to their 
feelings, and an uniform and unremitting regard to their best 
interests, is not less conspicuous. I feel that the sentiments 
of my friends and companions, Captain Back and Lieutenant 
Kendall, are in unison with my own, when I affirm, that 
gratitude and attachment to our late commanding officer will 
animate our breasts to the latest periods of our lives." 

On August 4th, WoUaston Land was discovered to 
the northward, and the channel between it and the 
mainland was called Dolphin and Union Strait, aft^r 
the two little boats in which they were embarked. On 
the 7th they had the extreme satisfaction of entering 
€^rge 4th Coronation Gulf, and so connected their 
discoveries with those of Captain Franklin during his 
voyage in 1820 — 

" Thus," as Dr. Richardson writes, " completing a portion of 
the north-west passage for which the reward of ;£5ooo was 





established by His Majesty's Order in Council ; but as it was 
not contemplated in framing the order that the discovery should 
be made from west to east, and in vessels so small as the 
Dolphin and Union, we could not lay claim to the pecuniary 

The successful issue of their voyage enabled them 
to return by a shorter and a better route than that 
adopted for the outward journey. On the following day 
the mouth of the Coppermine River was reached, and 
after proceeding up it for some miles, the boats and every- 
thing that was not absolutely necessary to be transported, 
were abandoned, and the journey commenced on those 
same barren lands, over which Franklin and his party 
had toiled and endured such sufferings during the pre- 
vious expedition, but this time under more favourable 
conditions; the load carried by each man was 72 lbs. 
Without any further event worth recording, the party 
reached Great Bear Lake on the i8th of August, 
and on the ist of September arrived at Fort Franklin, 
having accomplished a wonderfully successful journey, 
during which they traversed a distance, by land and by 
boat, of 1980 geographical miles, of which 1015 were 
new discoveries. Immediately on his return to Fort 
Franklin, Dr. Richardson started off to prosecute his 
geological and natural history researches in th9 neigh- 
bourhood of the Great Slave Lake, where he passed the 
following winter. 

Franklin and his people were, of course, compelled to 
spend another winter at Fort Franklin ; but having a 
plentiful supply of provisions and other necessaries, and 
also plenty of work to do in the way of plotting the 
charts connected with their discoveries, and arrang- 
ing their scientific observations, it passed quickly and 




I ■ 

pleasantly enough, in spite of the temperature falling 
during the month of February to 58° below zero, the 
lowest that any of the party had hitherto experienced. 
By a packet of letters which was conveyed to them by 
an Indian messenger during the winter, they were all 
much pleased and gratified to find that their popular 
companion, Lieutenant Back, had been promoted to the 
rank of commander. 

On the 20th February 1827, Captain Franklin being 
desirous of reaching England as speedily as possible, left 
the Fort, in company with five men, leaving instructions 
for Captain Back to proceed to York Factory with the 
remainder of the party as soon as the ice should break 
up ; thence they were to sail for England in the Hud- 
son's Bay Company's ship, which it was anticipated 
would be leaving in the autumn. Franklin reached Fort 
Simpson on the 8th of March ; here he remained a few 
days in order to rest and recruit the health of his dogs, 
and arrived at Fort Resolution, on the Great Slave Lake, 
on the 26th. The return to this neighbourhood must 
have brought vividly to Franklin's mind the terrible 
sufferings and privations he had endured in that same 
locality only a few years previously. Fort Chipewyan 
was reached on the 1 2th of April, and here a stoppage 
of six weeks was mada This place was left on the 31st 
May, and on the i8th June, Franklin and his small party 
arrived at Cumberland House, where he had the inex- 
pressible happiness of meeting with Dr. Richardson after 
a separation of eleven months. From him he learned 
that Mr. Drummond, the assistant naturalist, had been 
most indefatigable in collecting natural history speci- 
mens. He had travelled, with that object in view, 
as far as the Rocky Mountains, having been exposed 

(At the age of 24.) 



during his wanderings to very great hardships and 

From Cumberland House, Franklin and Richardson 
travelled together to Montreal and New York, and 
arrived in England on the 26th September 1827, after 
an absence of two years and seven and a half months. 
Commander Back, with the remainder of the party, 
reached Portsmouth fourteen days later. 

The geographical result of this expedition was the 
discovery and accurate delineation of over a thousand 
miles of the north coast of the American continent, 
hitherto absolutely unknown. The geological, mag- 
netical, meteorological, topographical, and other scientific 
observations, made by the different members of the 
expedition, were of the gi-eatest value and interest, 
more especially those relating to the Aurora Borealis. 
The important work performed by the members of the 
expedition was fully appreciated on their return to 
England, both by the Admiralty and the learned 
societies, who were unanimous in their acknowledgment 
of the value of the services rendered, and their appre- 
ciation of the skill and ability that had been displayed 
by officers and men in carrying them out. 

France also, not to be behindhand in her admiration 
at the way in which the leader of the expedition had 
achieved such a signal geographical success, presented 
Captain Franklin, shortly after his return to England, 
with the Paris Geographical Society's gold medal, valued 
at 1200 francs, for having made "the most important 
acquisition to geographical knowledge " during the year. 
On the 29th April 1829 Captain Franklin received the 
honour of knighthood ; and on the following ist of July 
the honorary degree of D.C.L. of Oxford was conferred 




V :i', 

upon him, at the same time that a similar honour was 
bestowed on Sir Edward Parry. 

These events are thus alluded to in the prize poem 
recited in the theatre at the Commemoration, on the 
occasion, by T. Legh Claughton — 

" But fairer England greets the wanderer now, 
Unfading laurels shade her Parry's brow ; 
And on the proud memorials of her fame 
Lives, linked with deathless glory, Franklin's name." 

On the 5th November 1828 Franklin married Jane, 
second daughter of John Griffin, Esq., of Bedford Place, 
a lady of great culture and rare intellectual powers, and 
one who was in every way qualified to be the friend, 
adviser, and helpmate of a man of Sir John Franklin's 
energy and disposition. Her life and character as a 
woman and a wife are written on the pages of the 
history of our country. 




" Where's the coward that would not dare 
To fight for such a land ? " — Atarmion. 

Although Captain Franklin had failed, through no want 
of energy or fault of his own, in the actual accomplish- 
ment of the north-west passage, he was fully impressed 
with its practicability, and openly maintained on his 
return his own views regarding the feasibility of its 
achievement in ships. But from his recent observations, 
especially those relative to the general drift of the ice in 
the Polar Sea and the prevailing winds that were ex- 
perienced by his party during their sojourn in that 
locality, he was of opinion — an opinion that was not, how- 
ever, shared by his distinguished brother officer. Captain 
Parry — that the attempt should be made from the west- 
ward through Bering's Strait, instead of from the East. 
Becent experience has proved that he was not far wrong 
in his conclusions, and the remarkable voyage made in 
1850, and two following years, by Captain Collinson in 

the Enter j)ri8e proves in a great measure that his opinions 


' ^T-IC^V^Wi;; I'^ i^v' - H'*"*'^! 





I I! 

were formed on sound and well-considered principles, 
and, as such, were ./orthy of due consideration. 

Parry's third expedition,^ which had been, as will be 
remembered, directed to act in concert with Franklin, 
in the event of falling in with any of his party on their 
line of exploration, also unhappily ended in failure. 

Sailing from England in the Hecla and Fury on the 
19th May 1824, Parry, in consequence of unavoidable 
detentions in Baffin's Bay, caused by the unusual 
amount of ice that was collected there during that 
particular season, did not reach Lancaster Sound until 
the loth of September. The season was then far ad- 
vanced, and he found to his intense mortification that 
the young ice which was rapidly forming proved such an 
impediment to his advance, that he was reluctantly com- 
pelled to relinquish further attempts to push on, and was, 
therefore, obliged to seek winter quarters ; he eventually 
secured his two ships on the 27th September in a small 
harbour named Port Bowen, on the east side of Prince 
Regent Inlet. Here the winter was passed, and in the 
spring of 1825 sledging parties were despatched, which 
added largely to our geographical knowledge of those 
parts. On the 20th July the ships succeeded in breaking 
out of their winter quarters, and standing across to the 
west side of the inlet, pursued a southerly course. They 
were, however, almost immediately beset by the ice, in 
which they were drifted rapidly up the inlet. Being 
powerless to direct their course, the unfortunate Fury 
was after a time driven on shore, and completely 
wrecked. Her stores and provisions were landed at the 
scene of her disaster, which was named Fury Beach, 
while her officers and crew were received on board the 

^ See p. 153, ante. 









Hecla^ for conveyance to England. They arrived at 
Sheerness in October, and the Hecla was shortly after- 
wards paid out of commission. 

Parry was much disappointed at the unfortunate result 
of a voyage from which he had expected so much ; but 
although it was not in his power to command success, 
yet no man ever deserved it more than Sir Edward 
Parry, especially in Arctic enterprise. In concluding his 
account of the narrative of this voyage he writes — 

** May it still fall to England's lot to accomplish this under- 
taking,^ and may she ever continue to take the lead in enter- 
prises intended to contribute to the advancement of science, 
and to promote, with her own, the welfare of mankind at 
large. Such enterprises, so disinterested as well as useful in 
their object, do honour to the country which undertakes theni, 
even when they fail ; they cannot but excite tlie admiration 
and respect of every liberal and cultivated mind, and the page 
of future history will undoubtedly record them, as in every 
way worthy of a powerful, virtuous, and enlightened nation." 

In less than two years after his return from this un- 
successful attempt to achieve the north-west passage by 
Prince Regent Inlet, the energetic Parry was again 
employed on Polar exploration, being entrusted with the 
command of an expedition that had for its object the 
discovery of the northern terrestrial pole of the earth. 

This enterprise was in accordance with a scheme of 
his own, plans of which he had previously submitted for 
the consideration of the Admiralty. His idea was to 
proceed in a ship as far as Spitzbergen, whence, leaving 
the vessel securely established in some snug anchorage, 
a party with boats and sledges were to be despatched 
for the purpose of reaching the Pole. The Hecla, Parry's 
old ship, was selected for this service, and he was accom- 
^ Tho north-west passage. 




panied by many old shipmates who had served with him 
on previous expeditions. They sailed from England on 
the 3rd of April 1827, and after touching at Hammer- 
fest, arrived off the coast of Spitzbergen about the 
middle of May; but it was not until nearly a month 
later, that they succeeded in finding a harbour in which 
the ship could be safely secured. All the necessary 
arrangements being completed, the exploring party, 
consisting of the two boats Enterprise and Endeavour^ 
under the command respectively of Captain Parry and 
Lieutenant James C. Ross, with a crew in each of two 
officers and twelve men, left the Hecla, and proceeded 
northwards. So long as the sea remained fairly open 
good progress was made, but when the ice was closely 
packed, and the boats, with all the necessary impedi- 
menta, had to be dragged across the floes, the toilsome 
and irksome nature of the work began to tell upon 
the men. The roughness of the ice added materially 
to the arduous nature of their work, and their diffi- 
culties culminated when it was discovered that a 
strong current was carrying them to the southward 
at a greater rate than they were advancing to the north- 
ward. Under these mortifying circumstances Parry, 
convinced of the futility of further perseverance, de- 
cided to return, having reached the latitude of 82° 45', 
a higher northern position than had been attained by 
any previous navigator. The ship was reached in 
Treurenberg Bay on the 21st of August, the party having 
been absent sixty-one days. On the 28th the Hecla 
sailed for England, and, by a strange coincidence, Frank- 
lin arrived at Liverpool from his journey along the Arctic 
coast of America at the same time that Parry reached 
Inverness. These two gallant explorers arrived at the 







Admiralty within ten minutes of each other, and great 
was the mutual surprise and joy of the two friends at 
such an unexpected meeting after so long a separation. 

With the return of these two officers from their ad- 
venturous voyages in 1827, public interest in Arctic 
exploration appears generally to have languished. Pro- 
bably the supposed risk, combined with the cost con- 
nected with the equipment of these Arctic expeditions, 
were considered too great and serious to justify any 
further attempts being made, at the public expense, 
with the view of discovering either the Pole or the 
north-west passage. But although the Government of 
the day evinced a strong disinclination to prosecute 
further research in high northern latitudes, private enter- 
prise, as will, we hope, always be the case, stepped in 
to attempt that which previous Government expeditions 
had failed to accomplish. In 1829, a small vessel, named 
the Victory,^ fitted out at the expense of Sir Felix Booth, 
sailed from England, under the command of Sir John 
Ross, with the object of discovering the north-west 
passage. With Captain Ross was associated his nephew, 
the gallant James Ross, who was the companion and 
colleague of Parry in his eventful voyage towards the 
North Pole in 1827. 

Sailing up Lancaster Sound and Prince Regent Inlet 

without experiencing much difficulty from ice, the Victory 

was secured in winter quarters on the east coast of Felix 

Boothia. In the following spring, a sledge party, under 

the command of James Bx)ss, succeeded in discovering 

1 The Victory was fitted with a small auxiliary engine, and with 
paddle-wheels, eight feet in diameter, so arranged that they could be 
lifted out of the water when under sail or in ioe-encumbered aeas. 
Steam, therefore, would only be of use in calm weather, and when 
the sea was free of ice. 





and reaching the position of the North Magnetic Pole, 
in latitude 70° 5' 17", and longitude 95° 46' 45" W., on 
the western coast of Boothia. For three long years the 
unfortunate Victory was inextricably frozen up in her 
first winter quarters, although every attempt was made 
to release her. She was at length abandoned in 1832, 
and the party proceeded northwards down Prince Regent 
Inlet, in the hope of falling in with some stray whaler. 
Unsuccessful in their search for relief, they were com- 
pelled to pass a fourth winter at Fury Beach, where the 
stores and provisions saved from the Fui'y when she was 
wrecked in 1825 ^ materially aided in their support and 
sustenance. In the following year they were providen- 
tially rescued by a whaler in Lancaster Sound, which 
was reached by them in their boats j they were eventually 
brought to England, where they were regarded as men 
risen from their graves, for hopes of their safety had 
almost been abandoned. It is a curious coincidence that 
the whaler that rescued Captain Boss and his men was 
the Isabella, the same ship that he commanded in 1818 
when he made his first voyage to the Arctic regions. 

Sir John Franklin, having enjoyed a well-deservod 
repose after his long and almost continuous service in 
the furtherance of Arctic exploration, was engaged all 
this time on duties, if not of the same arduous and 
perilous nature, of at any rate, great importance and 
responsibility. On the 23rd of August 1830 he was 
appointed to the command of the twenty- six gun frigate 
Rainbow, then fitting out at Portsmouth for service in 
the Mediterranean. This vessel had been paid off the 
previous year after a four years' commission on the East 
Indian and China station, under the command of Captain 

i See p. 174, ante. 









the Hon. H. J. Rous, who subsequently made a reputation 
for himself by the skilful and masterly way in which he 
succeeded in navigating the frigate Pique safely across 
the Atlantic, without a rudder and in an otherwise help- 
less condition. He is, however, perhaps better known 
from his long connection with the Jockey Club, where 
his good influence was felt for many years. 

The Rainbow, being ready for sea, sailed out of Ports- 
mouth Harbour under double-reefed topsails on the nth 
November 1830, and after touching at Plymouth, pro 
ceeded to her station. Mr. Kay, a nephew of Sir John 
Franklin, served in her as a lieutenant, and Owen 
Stanley, who became a skilful and accomplished sur- 
veyor, was a mate in the ship. Two days after leaving 
Plymouth, a little excitement was caused by sighting 
the wreck of a brig with only the stumps of her lower 
masts standing, rolling heavily in the long Atlantic 
swell. Franklin at once bore down to her relief, with 
the object of succouring the crew, in the event of any of 
the unfortunate people being still in her. On approach- 
ing the wreck, they hailed to know if any one was on 
board, but as no reply was given, Franklin determined 
to satisfy himself by a nearer inspection, and took 
his ship so close that they actually came into collision, 
when the Rainhow received some slight injuries to her 
mizen chains and quarter gallery. They remained by 
the wreck for a couple of hours, repairing their own 
damages, and endeavouring to attract the attention of 
any one who might be on board, the state of the sea 
and weather rendering communication by boat im- 
possible. Having satisfied themselves that the wreck 
had been abandoned, and that there was no possibility 
of saving life, the Rainbow proceeded on her course. 




11 ' 

For a long time Franklin carried o'lt the onerous 
duties of senior naval officer in Greece, and especially at 
Patras, during the disturbances in that country. During 
those troublous times he was frequently called upon to 
land his men for the purpose of preserving order and for 
the protection of the inhabitants ; he had also to organise 
a defence against the rebellious irregular soldiery, whom 
he prevented, on more than one occasion, from pillaging 
and destroying the town. He likewise did good service 
in embarking refugees, and conveying them to places of 
safety. For his successful exertions in maintaining law 
and order, and generally for his efficient and important 
services during the War of Liberation, he was created 
by King Otho a Knight of the Redeemer of Greece. 

On his return to Malta the Rainbow flew the flag, 
temporarily, of Rear- Admiral Briggs, who succeeded to 
the command of the Mediterranean station on the death 
of Admiral Hotham. The log of the Rainbow during her 
commission is replete with useful sailing directions, and 
other interesting hydrographical information. 

That Sir John had the comfort and welfare of his men 
at heart is evident, for the name of his ship was pro- 
verbial on the station for the happiness and good feeling 
that prevailed on board. She was called the Celestial 
Rainbow, and the sailors used to allude to her as Frank- 
lin^s Paradise ! She returned to England in December 
1833, and was paid out of commission at Portsmouth on 
the 8th of January following. In recognition of his 
services off Patras, Sir John Franklin, on his return 
to England, was made a Knight Commander of the 
Guelphic order of Hanover. 

Before leaving the Mediterranean, he received the 
following letter from the Commander-in-Chief, Admiral 





Sir H. Hotham, written a short time only before his 
death. It is dated on board the Royal Alfred at Malta, 
March 29, 1833. After acknowledging the receipt of Sir 
John Franklin's letter reporting proceedings, he writes — 

" In the concluding operations of the service you have so 
long and so ably conducted in the Gulf of Patras and Lepanto, 
I have great satisfaction in repeating the approbation which 
I have already at different times expressed of your measures 
in the interests of Greece, and in the maintenance of the 
honour and character of the English nation and of H.M.'s 
Navy on that station ; wherein you have entirely fulfilled 
my instructions and anticipated my wishes. I also take this 
opportunity of commending the judgment and forbearance 
which you have exhibited under circumstances of repeated 
opposition and provocation ; and to your calm and steady 
conduct may be attributed the preservation of the town and 
inhabitants of Patras ; the protection of commerce ; and the 
advancement of the benevolent intentions of the Allied 
Sovereigns in favour of the Greek nation." 

These were high encomiums from his Commander-in- 
Chief, and plainly show the great estimation in which 
Franklin was held by his superiors. A copy of this 
communication was forwarded to the Admiralty by Sir 
John, in an official letter dated June 18, 1834, written 
from 21 Bedford Place, in which he made an earnest 
appeal to be employed on father active service. 

Prior to leaving Patras, Sir John Franklin received 
the following letter from Mr. G. W. Crowe, the English 
Consul at that place : — 

"British Consulate, Patras, 
2^th March 1833. 

" My dear Sir John,— While I beg leave to offer you my 
congratulations upon being at length released from the anxious 
and wearisome duty that has detained you before this town 




for the last twelve months, I cannot refrain, at the same time, 
from expressing the regret I feel upon my own account in 
losing your society and that of your officers, which has so 
agreeably relieved a period that would otherwise have been 
of unmitigated annoyance and vexation. 

"The humane object of your mission is now completely 
fulfilled. You have the satisfaction to witness the termina- 
tion of the miseries of the inhabitants of this city, and of the 
misrule and violence that so long and heavily oppressed them — 
violence restrained from the wox'st and grossest excesses only 
by your presence, being awed into respect by the dignified 
calm which you ever preserved under circumstances of great 

"But for your forbearance the city, just rising from its ruins, 
had ceased to exist. You now see tranquillity and order re- 
stored to their homes, and a few days have been sufficient 
to reanimate the activity of commerce. 

" Patras owes you a deep debt of gratitude, and I trust feels 
the obligation. For myself, I hope I need not assure you that 
I can never forget your unvarying kindness, and that I am 
sensible of the high value of the friendly and cordial regard 
with which you h.ive continued to know me. For weeks 
together your ship afforded a home— a kind home — to my 
family, and the Rainbow will ever be remembered by them 
with the feelings which home excites." 

These letters plainly shov^ the high appreciation in 
which the services of Sir John Franklin, whilst in 
command of the Rainbow, were held by those who were 
perhaps the best qualified to judge. 

It was, in all probability, in consequence of the 
aptitude displayed by Sir John Franklin in carrying 
out th delicate services, more or less of a diplomatic 
nature, that he was called upon to render on the coast 
of Greece, that induced the Government to offer him, 
shortly after his return from the Mediterranean, the 
Lieutenant-Govemoi'ship of Van Diemen's Land, in 



succession to Colonel Ai^hur. This he accepted, but it 
was on the express understanding that he might bo 
allowed to resign his appointment in the event of war 
breaking out, and his being selected for a command. 

Taking passage on board the ship Fairlie, and accom- 
panied by Lady Franklin, his daughter, and niece,^ the 
new Governor landed at Hobart Town in January 1837, 
when he immediately assumed the reins of Grovernment, 
relieving Colonel Kenneth Snodgrass, who had been 
acting temporarily until his arrival. Ever mindful of 
the value and importance of hydrography, one of the first 
acts of the Lieutenant-Governor was to make a requisi- 
tion to the Imperial Government for means to enable him 
to carry out a more perfect survey of the channels lead- 
ing towards the anchorage at Hobart Town. This appli- 
cation was viewed with favour by the home authorities, 
and Lieutenant Burnett was appointed by the Admiralty 
to carry out this service under the directions of Sir John 
Franklin. The new Governor's attention was, for some 
time, much occupied by the presentation of various 
memorials from the settlers claiming grants of land, 
which, they averred, had been allotted to them without 
tiUe-deeds or other documents by which their claims could 
be substantiated. All these had to be thoroughly sifted 
in order that justice should be impartially administered. 

One of the most popular measures introduced by Sir 
John was the admission of the public to the debates 
of the Legislative Council. While interesting himself 
in the general well-being of the community at large, he 
also devoted much time and reflection to the welfare and 
discipline of the convicts on the island, for at that period 

^ Miss Sophia Oracroft, the constant conipuuion und devoted friend 
of Lady Franklin. 




a very large penal establishment existed in the neigh- 
bourhood of Hobart Town. 

Shortly after he assumed office, Sir John Franklin, 
realising the want of sufficient means for educating the 
rising generation in the colony, made strenuous exer- 
tions to obtain from the Home Government a charter for 
the formation of a college on a large and liberal scale. 
In this he was supported by his Legislative Council, 
who voted the substantial sum of ;^25oo towards the 
institution. On the recommendation of the late Dr. 
Arnold, head-master of Rugby, who warmly espoused the 
cause, the Rev. J. P. Gell was sent out from England 
for the purpose of organising such an establishment as 
should meet the requirements of the colonists, and on 
the 7th of November 1840, with imposing ceremony, 
the foundation-stone of the proposed building was 
laid at New Norfolk by Sir John Franklin, in the 
presence of all the local officials and a large assemblage 
of the inhabitants. In consequence, however, of dissen- 
sions and disputes with the various religious denomina- 
tions, and the selfish opposition of those who wished 
the college to be built in Hobart Town, instead of 
at New Norfolk, the Imperial Government withdrew 
its support, and the scheme fell through. Mr. Gell,^ 
however, proceeded to establish a superior school in 
Hobart Town, on such a scale and system, that it 
would, he hoped, if properly supported, eventually develop 
into a college, and so be the means of giving a liberal 
education to the sons of colonists, and thus prepare 
them for entering the learned professions. 

1 Mr. Gell married Sir John Franklin's daughter by his first wife. 
She died in i860. Mr. Gell was Vicar of St. John's, Netting Hill, 
from 1854 to 1878, when he was given the Rectory of Buxted in 






So impressed was Sir John Franklin with the necessity 
of an institution of this description, that, before leaving 
the island, he presented a donation of ;^5oo towards 
it, while Lady Franklin made the munificent gift of 400 
acres of land which she had purchased, with a museum, 
which, under her direct auspices, had been established 
on it, in trust for the benefit of any collegiate institu- 
tion that might be established with the approbation and 
sanction of the Bishop of the diocese. On an increase 
to the Lieutenant-Governor's salary being voted by the 
Colonial Legislature, Sir John, in fitting terms, declined 
to accept it during his tenure of office, but took pains 
to ensure the augmentation of it being secured for his 
successor. Shortly after his arrival in the colony, he 
founded a scientific society at Hobart Town, which is 
now called the Royal Society of Tasmania. The meetings 
were held at Government House, where the papers 
(which were afterwards printed at Sir John's expense) 
were read and discussed. 

It was during Sir John's term of government that the 
island was visited by the ships of the Antarctic expedi- 
tion under Sir James Ross, to which it will be desirable 
to make a brief allusion. 

In 1838, at a meeting of the British Association in 
England, a resolution was passed to the effect that a re- 
presentation should be made to the Government regard- 
ing the importance of despatching an expedition to the 
Antarctic Seas, for the purpose of carrying out synchronal 
magnetic observations in connection with other stations 
established in various parts of the world; also to en- 
deavour to obtain observations in terrestrial magnetism 
in a high southern latitude, of which there had hitherto 
been a great deficiency — in fact, none at all of any value. 







This representation, having received the approval and 
support of the learned societies, as well as that of the 
leading scientific authorities of the day, was favourably 
received by Her Majesty's Government, who seemed to 
be fully imbued with the opinion that practical naviga- 
tion would undoubtedly derive important benefits from 
the results that would assuredly accrue. An expedition 
was, in consequence, ordered to be fitted out, and the 
command of it was entrusted to Captain James Ross. 
It consisted of the Erebu8, an old bomb ship of 370 tons, 
and the Ten'or, of 340 tons.^ The command of the 
latter vessel was given to Captain Crozier. 

The Terror, it may be observed, had only the previous 
year, under the command of Captain Back, returned from 
an unsuccessful attempt to reach Repulse Bay. Her 
narrow escape from destruction by the ice in Hudson's 
Bay, and her subsequent marvellous passage across the 
Atlantic in an almost sinking condition, although of 
thrilling interest, need not here be repeated. The in- 
juries she sustained were repaired, and when selected 
to form one of the ships in Ross's expedition she was in 
every way fitted for the hazardous service on which it 
was decided to employ her. 

Captain Ross, in his sailing directions, was ordered to 
place himself in communication with Sir John Franklin 
on his arrival in Van Diemen's Land, while Sir John 
was, at the same time, instructed to render all the 
assistance in his power to Captain Ross, to select the 
most advantageous position for the erection of a magnetic 
observatory, and to prepare the necessary instruments. 

1 These two ships, it should he remarked, were the identical vessels 
that, subsequently, under the command of Sir John Franklin, com- 
prised the ill-fated expedition that left England for the discovery 
of the north-west passage. 





One of the principal objects of the expedition wn.s to 
endeavour to determine, if possible, the position of the 
South Magnetic Pole. 

The ships sailed from England in 1839, and were 
absent for a period of four years. It is not my object 
to record the doings of this most important expedi- 
tion, the only one on a large scale that has ever been 
despatched from any country for exploration in the 
Antarctic Seas. It is simply alluded to here because of its 
connection with Sir Jolm Franklin, who was Lieutenant- 
Governor of Van Diemen's Land, during the time that 
the vessels were engaged on this particular service, when 
they spent two winters at Hobart Town. It may be 
safely inferred that Sir John took the keenest interest in 
the ships, and did all in his power, not only to promote 
the scientific work of the expedition, but also exeited 
himself to the utmost in endeavouring to make the 
time pass pleasantly for the officers and men during 
their stay in Tasmania. The magnetic observatory was 
erected under the personal superintendence of Sir John, 
and many of the observations were actually taken by 
him, assisted by his son-in-law, the Rev. J. P. Gell, 
When the expedition sailed, after the first winter spent 
at Hobart Town, Franklin's nephew, Lieutenant Kay, 
was left behind in charge of this observatory. 

Captain Ross, in his exceedingly interesting narrative 
of the expedition, thus alludes to the great assistance 
he received at the hands of the Governor : — 

" If the deep-felt gratitude of thankful hearts be any grati- 
fication to our excellent friend Sir John Franklin, who not 
only evinced the most anxious desire, but sought every oppor- 
tunity of promoting the objects of our enterprise, and con- 
tributing to the comfort and happiness of all embarked in it, 




I am sure there is not an individual in either of our ships, 
who would not most heartily wish to express those sentiments 
towards him, and also to every member of his family, for their 
great kindness to us during our prolonged stay at Hobart 

Alluding to the excellent administrative qualities of 
Sir John Franklin, Captain Ross, in the same work, 
writes : — 

"Under the wise and judicious government of Sir John 
Franklin, the revenue of the colony hud so greatly increased, 
that although involved deeply in debt when he arrived in the 
country, by prudent and well-arranged measures the debt had 
been liquidated, and a superabundant income produced." 

But it was in all probability due to the undoubted 
success he achieved whilst administering the government 
of Van Diemen's Land, that a bitter and vindictive feel- 
ing was raised against him in the hearts of some few 
of the colonial officials, who regarded with jealousy the 
increasing popularity of the Governor. This feeling 
found expression in attempts to place difficulties in 
his way while carrying out the duties that devolved 
on him in the proper administration of the government, 
and commenced as early as 1841, when the Director 
of Public Works was dismissed from his office for the 
unsatisfactory way in which his duties were performed, 
combined with "an obstinacy of temper and a disposi- 
tion to enter into long and unnecessary correspondence." 
In 1843 the police magistrate was suspended from his 
duties for incautious and partial administration of justice, 
for want of temper, and for various other complaints 
with which he was charged. This was done with and by 
the advice of the Executive Council. 


These acts led to the appearance in the local press, 
of some very hostile criticisms of his government, and 
also of himself personally, in which Sir John was openly 
accused of resorting to all sorts of unscrupulous means in 
order to attain his own ends. These scurrilous attacks 
were believed to be inspired by the Colonial Secretary, 
who was accordingly called upon by Sir John for an 
explanation, which was of so unsatisfactory a character 
that Sir John suspended him from his official duties. 

This was, of courae, a very strong measure to take, 
especially with an official holding sunh a high position 
as the Colonial Secretary, and could only be justified 
by extreme provocation. The charges brought against 
the Colonial Secretary by the Lieutenant-Governor 
were — 

1. Assumption of undue influence. 

2. His having threatened, and subsequently put in 
practice, a species of passive resistance, by not giving 
proper assistance in the transaction of official business. 

3. Having neglected to take any notice of articles 
in a local newspaper (said to be established under his 
patronage) reflecting on Sir John and the members of 
his family. 

4. The tone of his communication when charged by 
Sir John with these offences. 

A long, and somewhat acrimonious, correspondence 
with the Home Government ensued with regard to this 
unfortunate affair, resulting eventually in the removal 
of the Colonial Secretary to a similar post at the Cape 
of Good Hope. Sir John's action in this matter was not 
suppoited by the Secretary of State for the Colonies 
(Lord Stanley), who informed the Governor in an official 
despatch that he *' was not justified, on his own showing. 




in dismissing " his Colonial Secretary. He was further 
informed that this officer " retires from the situation he 
has so long filled with his public and personal character 
unimpaired, and with his hold on the respect and con- 
fidence of Her Majesty's Government undiminished." 

This despatch was, pi-actically, a censure on the Lieu- 
tenant-Governor, and it was a rebuke all the more keenly 
felt in consequence of its having been published without 
authority in the local press. On the 20th January 1843, 
Sir John wrote a masterly vindication of his conduct in 
reply to this despatch, concluding with a request that 
as he did not possess the confidence of Her Majesty's 
Government, so indispensable for his own honour and 
the due discharge of his functions, he hoped Lord Stan- 
ley would relieve him from his government as early as 
possible. Sir John also addressed a confidential letter 
to his lordship on the 26th July 1843, ^^'ging his re- 
consideration of the case, and hoping that he would give 
it his serious attention ; at the same time expostulating 
against the system of persecution to which he had been 
subjected in consequence of Lord Stanley's despatch, and 
the machinations of the late Colonial Secretary and his 
adherents in the colony. 

In the following month he was suddenly relieved of 
his office as Lieutenant-Governor of Van Diemen's Land 
by Sir Eardley Wilmot, who arrived, unexpectedly, on 
the same day, indeed in the same ship, that brought the 
announcement acquainting Sir John of his successor's 
nomination. He was therefore placed in an extremely 
embarrassing situation by the sudden advent of the new 
Governor, being in actual possession of Government 
House at the time j he was also naturally much annoyed 
at the want of courtesy that was thus shown him, as 




well as the great injustice that was done, in placing him 
in such a painful and humiliating position. He left 
Hobart Town in the same ship that took him out, the 
Fairlie, and reached England in May 1844, having 
been Governor of Van Diemen's Land for a period of 
over six and a half years. 

That the views of the Secretary of State for the 
Colonies were not shared by the people of Hobart Town, 
is evident from the demonstrations of regret that were 
made by all classes at his departure, and from the 
numerous addresses, both public and private, expressing 
satisfaction at the way in which he had administered 
the government of the colony, and regret at his departure, 
that poured in upon him from all sections of the com- 
munity. The feelings expressed by the colonists at that 
timo were subsequently emphasised in a more practical 
manner some ten years later, by the substantial assistance 
sent to Lady Franklin, in the shape of a sum of jQi^oo, 
to aid her efforts in endeavouring to discover the fate 
of her husband, and also by the fact of the erection^ at 
the public expense, of a statue in his honour at Hobart 

Sir John Franklin, on his return to England, wrote a 
complete vindication of the way in which he had carried 
out the high and important duties that devolved upon 
him as Lieutenant-Governor of Van Diemen's Land, but 
this publication did not appear until after he had sailed 
on what proved to be his last voyage. In this article he 
severely criticises the action of Lord Stanley, whom he 
stigmatises as " haughty and imperious." 

In alluding to this painful incident in the career of 
Sir John Franklin, Sherard Osborn writes : — " His sen- 
sitive and generous spirit chafed under the unmerited 



treatment he had experienced from the Secretary of 
State for the Colonies; and sick of civil employment, 
he naturally turned again to his profession as a better 
field for the ability and devotion he had wasted on a 
thankless offica" 



iliustratiu.^ tiie 

Scale I: 2 0.000.000 Ja** ^ ^ 

Coasts discoved iip to 1632 "^ 

Disi-overed 1632 1817 

Discovered. 1818 1844. 

Disctrvet^d hy Frajihlin & '^^^ 

FrarMin. Search Expedition 
I Discovered, since 1859/ 
_ J. Franklins Routes, 


illustratiug the t«^ -^ "^^K-^ 



(iiWiPfi ffc, 

(■ PhiliD.t Sm 

B. &■ Snyatsttin. . 





Ci. Philip A San. 








" We are well persuaded 
We carry nut a heart with us from hence 
That grows not in fair consent with ours ; 
Nor leave not one behind, that doth not wish 
Success and conquest to attend on us." 

— Henry V. 

The subject of Arctic exploration, more especially with 
regard to its relation to the discovery of a north-west 
passage, had been permitted to remain in abeyance by 
the Government for some years — in fact since the return 
ol' Sir Edward Parry from his unsuccessful attempt to 
reach the North Pole in 1827. 

It is very true that the interest of the public in the 
far north was, for a short time, revived by the prolonged 
absence of the two Rosses, to which a brief allusion has 
been made in the preceding chapter, and a land expedi- 
tion was despatched by Government, under the command 
of Captain Back, in 1833, for the purpose of seeking for 
them. This officer was ordered to proceed by the Great 
Fish River to the northern shore of Arctic America, 
whence he was to endeavour to reach the neighbourhood 
of Cape Garry, where, it was anticipated, intelligence of 

the missing expedition might be obtained, for it was 

193 N 




well known that Captain Ross in some measure relied 
for support, in case of undue absence, on the stores 
that were landed from the Fury when that vessel was 
unfortunately wrecked in 1823. The Rosses, as has 
already been narrated, were picked up and brought 
home by a whaler in 1833 ;i and this intelligence was 
communicated to Captain Back in a despatch that was 
forwarded by the Hudson's Bay Company, and which 
was handed to him before he was altogether out of reach 
of letters. The main object of the expedition having 
therefore been otherwise happily accomplished. Captain 
Back proceeded, in accordance with his instructions, to 
explore tlie Great Fish River to its mouth. This was 
successfully achieved, the expedition reaching, on the 
1 6th August 1834, its most northern point in King 
William Island. It returned to England the following 
year, when Captain Back's efforts in the furtherance 
of geogi-aphical and scientific research were acknowledged 
and appreciated in a fitting manner. 

On the return of Captain Back, the Royal Geogra- 
phical Society urged the Government to undertake the 
exploration of the North American coast between the 
Point Turnagain of Franklin and the position reached 
by Back to the eastward, maintaining that the suc- 
cessful performance of this exploration would, doubtless, 
result in the completion of the north-west passage. 

The Government, fully endorsing these views, gave 
directions for the fitting out of the Terror , and selected 
Captain Back, who had but recently returned from his 
land journey, to the command. His orders were to 
proceed through Hudson's Strait to the Wager River 
or to Repulse Bay ; thence he was to endeavour to pene- 

^ See page 178. 




trate into Prince llegent Inlet, and make a thorough 
examination to the east and to the west, with the object 
c' connecting his own discoveries with those of Ross 
and Franklin. The Terror sailed from England on the 
24th of June 1836 ; she was beset by the ice in Hudson's 
Strait in the following September, in which she drifted 
helplessly, daily expecting destruction, for the ensuing ten 
months. When released, the ship was found to have re- 
ceived such injuries as to necessitate her immediate return 
to England, but she was in such a crippled state that she 
had, after a perilous and eventful voyage, to be run on 
shore on the west coast of Ireland to prevent her sinking. 

Tlie return of the Antarctic expedition in 1843 ®"<^® 
more aroused public interest in matters connected with ex- 
ploration in high latitudes, and this interest was kept alive 
by the writings and efiforts of English men of science and 
naval officers, who urged the necessity of the continuance 
of further exploration. In the words of wotchy old 
Master Purchas, who wrote 250 years ago, the discovery 
of the north-west passage was the only " thing yet un- 
done wherebye a notable mind might be made famous." 

This long sought for passage was at last to be dis- 
covered, and the " notable mind " that was to achieve 
the distinction which the solution of the problem would, 
according to Master Purchas, entitle him to, was no less 
a person than Sir John Franklin, who had already suc- 
ceeded in mapping out, by actual personal exploration, 
a very large portion of the passage. He had, as we 
have endeavoured to trace, by patient perseverance, by 
great ability, energy, and indomitable pluck, in spite 
of unparalleled difficulties and unprecedented sufferings, 
in a rigorous climate and in an inhospitable and barren 
country, succeeded in showing to the world at large, 




that there was no service which Englishmen were not 
capable of undertaking, and no hardships or privations 
that would make them waver or flinch in the performance 
of their duties and in carrying them out to a successful 

In fact, Sir John Franklin had, as wo have already 
shown, written his name with no light or feeble hand 
in large and unmistakable characters along the entire 
face of our North Polar map, and he was, even at that 
time, the actual discoverer of all, but a very small portion 
that yet remained to be explored, of the long talked 
of, but yet undiscovered, north-west passage. 

Our geographical knowledge of the hitherto almost 
mythical regions that centred at the northern apex of 
our globe was, in 1845, considering our ignorance at 
the beginning of the century, considerable. Parry had 
succeeded in pushing to the westward with his ships 
in a high latitude, through Lancaster Sound and 
Barrow's Strait, as far as the 114th meridiRn of west 
longitude, while the northern coast of North America 
had been thoroughly explored from Bering's Strait to 
the 94th meridian of west longitude. The discoveries 
therefore, eastward and westward, overlapped each other 
by twenty degrees of longitude. 

To Franklin, it will be remembered, was due the 
exploration of the north coast of America from Cape 
Turnagain westward to Cape Beechey, a survey extending 
over forty degrees of longitude. Captain Beechey, it 
will also be remembered, explored from Bering's Strait 
to the eastward as far as Poinu Barrow, leaving only 160 
miles undiscovered between his furthest eastward position 
and the most western one of Franklin's. 

These two positions were, however, connected in 1837 

r 1 






by Messrs. Dease and Simpson, two officers of the Hud- 
son's Bay Company, who had been specially despatched 
for the purpose of completing this portion of the un- 
surveyed coast-line. In the two following years they 
turned their attention to the eastward, and connected 
the coast-line between Cape Turnagain and Back's 
Great Fish River. They also explored the south coast 
of Wollaston or Victoria Land, as well as the southern 
shore of King William Island, from Cape Herschel to 
Point Booth. The extreme eastern position reached 
by these able and indefatigable explorers was the 
Castor and Pollux Fiver. The entire North American 
coast line had thus been delineated. All therefore that 
remained to b& discovered, in order to make the north- 
west passage un fait accompli, was the finding of a 
channel running in a north and south direction for a 
distance of a little under 300 miles, or about half the 
distance between John o' Groat's and the south coast of 
England. That such a channel existed there was but 
little doubt, but whether it would be, when found, prac- 
ticable for ship navigation, was a question yet to be solved. 
It is therefore not surprising that an attempt should be 
made to complete the discovery of the passage. 

Sir John Barrow, who was at the time Secretary of 
the Admiralty, and who has so happily been termed the 
" father of modern Arctic discovery," we may be sure, 
was not idle. He was fully sensible of the necessity for 
a renewal of Arctic research, and he was as keen as ever 
in his advocacy regarding the importance of exploration 
in high latitudes. When a man like Sir John Barrow, 
who was prepared with a plan for the prosecution of the 
search for a north-west passage, and who was supported 
in his views by such authorities on Arctic matters as Sir 





Francis Beaufort, Sir Roderick Murchison, Sir Edward 
Parry, Sir James Ross, Captain Sabine, and even Sir 
John Franklin himself (who had just returned from his 
administration of the government of VanDiemen's Land), 
advocated the resumption by England of Polar explora- 
tion, it is not to be wondered at that the earnest and 
logical pleadings of tliese great and eminent geographers 
met with a favourable response. An expedition was in 
consequence decided upon, and it was resolved that its 
main object was to be the forging of the last link that 
would connect the chain of previous discoveries, and so 
achieve tlie actual accomplishment of the north-west 

The decision was a popular one, not only in the country, 
but also in the naval service. The announcement was 
no sooner promulgated than hundreds of gallant hearts 
sent in their names as volunteers to accompany the 
expedition, and to serve in any capacity in the event 
of their services not being required in the particular 
rank they held in the navy. Candidates also for the 
post of leader were not wanting, but this post Sir John 
Franklin claimed as his special right, as being the senior 
Arctic officer alive in a position to assume it. *'No 
service," he said, " is nearer to my heart, than the 
completion of the survey of the north coast of America, 
and the accomplishment of a north-west passage." 
Lord Haddington, the First Lord of the Admiralty, 
on being informed that Sir John was desirous of being 
appointed to the command, at once sent for him, and 
gladdened his heart by complying with his wishes ; but 
thinking that Sir John might have become somewhat 
rusty in matters connected with his profession after his 
long sojourn on shore, and also perhaps wishing to afford 




him the opportunity of declining the command, in the 
event of his only having proffered his services from a 
keen sense of honour and duty, suggested that after the 
good and useful geographical work he had already per- 
formed, he might now deservedly rest on his well-earned 
laurels, and intimated that perhaps his age might be a 
bar to his being selected, as he was informed that he was 
sixty years of age. " No, my lord," was Franklin's ready 
but earnest response; "you have been misinformed — I 
am only fifty-nine ! " This decided the question, and 
Franklin was accordingly appointed tc the command. 
The selection of the leader having been satisfactorily 
arranged, Sir John drove home, and on his arrival, 
suddenly announced to his wife and niece that he had 
been offered, and had accepted, the command of the ex- 
pedition. He was wild with delight at the honour thus 
conferred upon hiin, and could hardly conceal his enthusi- 
astic impatience to get away as speedily as possible. 

The ships selected for the service were the Erebus and 
TeiTor. They had only recently returned from the ser- 
vice on which they had been engaged under Sir James 
Ross in the Antarctic, but they had been completely over- 
hauled and thoroughly repaired after the hard buffetings 
they had received from the southern ice, and were, in con- 
sequence, prepared in every way that human skill and 
ingenuity could devise, to undergo similar or even worse 
treatment from the ice floes of the north. Captain 
Crozier, who was second in command in the Antarctic 
expedition, was selected to act in a like capacity to 
Sir John, and was appointed to the command of his 
old ship the Tetror, while Sir John flew his pendant 
in the Erehius. Commander James Fitzjames, an able, 
popular, and accomplished officer, was appointed to the 






Erehus as second in command under Franklin. As the 
principal object of the expedition was the advancement 
of science, the remainder of the officers were selected as 
being specially suited by their scientific acquirements, 


professional knowledge, and robust and vigorous constitu- 
tions, for the service on which they were to be employed. 
Among those appointed was Dr. Goodsir, an eminent 
naturalist. The complement of each ship w.^s sixty-seven 
officers and men, making a total of twenty-tjuree officers 




and III men — in all, 134 souls. Stores and provisions 
were put on board the ships for an anticipated absence 
of three years. The vessels were also fitted with screws 
and auxiliary engines, capable of working up to about 
twenty horse-power. This was the first time that the 
screw, as a means of propulsion in ships, was ever used 
in the Arctic Seas, but it was, as may be imagined from 
the power provided, only to a very limited degree. 

Sir John Franklin's orders were to the effect that he 
was to make the best of his way up Lancaster Sound 
to the neighbourhood of Cape Walker, in about 74° 
N. latitude, and 98° W. longitude. Thence he was to 
use his utmost endeavours, by working to the southward 
and westward, to push on in as direct a line as possible 
towards Bering's Strait ; but much was left to his own 
discretion, and he was to be guided by any circumstances 
that might incidentally arise. That these orders were in 
accordance wifli Franklin's own views and wishes is quite 
certain. Sherard Osborn, writing in 1859, makes the 
following remarks — 

" That this soutliciu course was that uf Franklin's predilec- 
tion, founded on liis judgment and experience. There are many 
in England who can recollect him pointing on his chart to the 
western entrance of Simpson Strait, and the adjoining coast of 
North America, and saying, ' If I can but get down there, my 
work ia done ; thence it's plain sailing to the westward.'" 

All the arrangements being completed, the expedition 
sailed from England on the 19th of May 1845, officers 
and men in the very best of spirits, and all fully resolved 
to do their utmost to bring the voyage to a successful 
issue, and so set at rest, and for ever, the long vexed 
question of the existence of a north-west passage. Sir 
John Franklin was specially careful to promote this 




proper and commendable spirit evinced by those under 
his command. Shortly after their departure from 
England, he called all his officers together, and carefully 
explained to them the objects of the expedition, and his 
views as to the course that should be pursued in order 
to obtain the most successful results. He read out to 
them a pc>rtion of the instructions he had issued to 
the officei's of the Trent, on his first Polar expedition, 
and pointed out to them the necessity of noting every- 
thing that occurred, no matter how trivial it might at 
the moment \o considered, for future reference and 
study. .Jir<\ informed them that their journals, 

remark book . jhes, &c., would be required of them 

on their return to England, for transmission to the 
Admiralty. * s Coptsr'p, Fitzjames, in a letter to his 
friend Mr. John iiarrow n; ites — 

"He spoke delightfully of the zealous co-opeiation he 
expected from all, and his desire to do full justice to the 
exertions of each." 

With such a pleasant and happy feeling, and such a 
perfect understanding, pervading the minds of Sir John 
and those under his command, it is not surprising that 
all were cheerful and enthusiastic regarding the ultimate 
success of the expedition. 

We obtain a little insight into the friendly and 
harmonious feeling that existed among those on board 
the Erebus, and the manner in which their time was 
passed on the voyage to Greenland, from some charm- 
ingly written letters sent home by Fitzjames, which 
have been kindly placed at my disposal by his friend 
Mr. John Barrow. As these epistles contain many allu- 

1 The sou of Sir John Barrow. 



sions to the esteem and respect in which Sir John 
Franklin was held by all on board, no apology is 
necessary for the insertion here of a few extracts from 
them, illustrative of the private chai*acter of Sir John 
and the happy feeling that reigned on board his ship. 

So confident were they of accomplishing the north- 
west passage, that Fitzjames gave explicit directions for 
his letters to be sent to Petro-Paulowski in Kamchatka, 
via St. Petersburg, in the event of no tidings of the 
expedition being received before the ensuing June. He 
also tells his friend, Mr. Barrow, to 

" Write on speck to Punama and the Sandwich IsLuids every 
six months." "Have a letter waiting for me at Panama on 
ppeck next January." " Mind, I say we shall get through the 
north-west passage this year,ain\ I .shall land at Petro-Paulowski 
and shake you by the hand on the 22nd February 1846." 

On the day they left Strom ness, he says — 

"We drank Lady Franklin's health at the old gentleman's 
table, and it being his daughter's birthday, hers too." 

Alluding to Sir John, he writes : — 

"1 like a man who is in earnest. iSir John Franklin read 
the church service to-day and a sermon so very beautifully, 
that I defy any man not to feel the force of what he would 
convey. The first Sunday he read was a day or two before 
we sailed, when Lady Franklin, his daughter, and niece 
attended. Every one was struck with liis extreme earnest- 
ness of manner, evid(;ntly proceeding from real conviction." 

Again : — 

" Sir John is delightful, active, and energetic, and evidently, 
even now, persevering. What he has been, we all know. I 
think it will turn out that he is in no ways altered. He is 
full of conversation and interesting anecdotes of his former 




voyages. I would not lose liim for the commaml of the ex- 
pedition, for I have a real regard, I miyht say affection, for 
him, and believe this is felt by all of us. In our mess we are 
very happy; we have a most agreeable set of men, and I could 
suggest no change, except that I wish you were with us." 

In a subsequent letter he tells us : — 

" Sir John is full of life and energy, with good judgment 
and a capital memory — one of the best I know. His conver- 
sation is delightful and most instructive, and of all men he is 
the most fitted for the command of an enterprise requiring 
sound sense and great perseverance. I have learnt much 
from him, and consider myself most fortunate in being with 
such a man, and he is full of benevolence and kindness withal." 

Again he write.'?, in much the same strain : — 

" We are very happy and very fond of Sir John Franklin, 
who improves very much as we come to know more of him. 
He is anything but nervouc oc fidgety — in fact, I should say 
remarkable for energetic decision in sudden emergencies ; but 
I should think he might be easily persuaded, when he has not 
nlready formed a strong opinion." 

That his nerve was as good as ever is apparent from 
the following extract from one of Fitzjames's letters — 

" I can scarcely manage to get Sir John to .shorten sail at all " 

— so anxious was he to push on, and take advantage of 
every available day of the short navigable season. 

Of course the main object of the expedition, viz., the 
discovery of the north-west passage, was ever uppermost 
in their thoughts, and frequently formed the principal 
topic of conversation at the dinner-table, and in the 
officers' mess. We obtain a glimpse into Sir John's 
views on this important subject from the following 
sentence in another of Fitzjames's letters ; — 


" At dinner to-day, Sir John gave lis a pleasant account of 
his expectations of heing able to get through the ice on the 
coast of America, and his disbelief in the idea that there is 
open sea to the northward. He also said he believed it to be 
possible to reach the Pole over the ice, by wintering at Spitz- 
bergen, and going in the spring before the ice broke up and 
drifted to the south as it did with Parry on it." 

Lieutenant Fairholme also, in a private letter, thus 
alludes to their leader : — 

"Sir John is in nuich better health than when we left 
England, and really looks ten years younger. He takes an 
active part in everything that goes on, and liis long experi- 
ence in such services makes him a most valuable adviser. 
We are very much crowded— in fact, not an inch of stowage 
has been lost, and the decks are still covered with casks. 
Oar supply of coals has encroached seriously on the sliip's 
stowage ; but as we consume both fuel and provisions as we 
go, the evil will be continually lessening." 

Stromness, in the Orkney Islands, was reached on 
June ist, and left two days after. Boisterous weather 
and head winds were encountered during their passage 
across the Atlantic. On the 24th June, Cape Farewell 
was rounded, and on the following day they saw their 
first ice, consisting of numerous large icebergs, through 
which they had to thread their way, " some of them fall- 
ing with an awful roar and rising of the sea ; " but the 
scenery, especially to those inexperienced in Arctic navi- 
gation, was grand and majestic. 

On the 4th July the expedition came to an anchor off 
the Whale Fish Islands, near the island of Disco, on the 
west coast of Greenland. Here they completed with 
stores and provisions from a transport, the Barretto 
Junior^ which had accompanied them out from England 




for that purpose, and to which they discharged five of 
their men who had been invalided and sent to her for 
passage to England. As the transport just alluded to 
was the last vessel that communicated with the ill-fated 
discovery ships, it will be interesting to insert a few 
extracts from a letter written by Lieutenant Griffiths, 
who was in command of her, to Mr. John Barrow, on 
his arrival in England. He writes : — 

"The two ships were perfectly crammed, and were very 
deep, drawing seventeen feet. I felt quite low-spirited on 
leaving Sir John and his officers — better fellows never 
breathed. They were all in the highest possible spirits, and 
determined on succeeding if success were possible. I have 
very great hopes, knowing their capabilities, having witnessed 
their arrangements, and the spirit by which they are actuated 
— a set of more undaunted fellows never were got together, or 
officers better selected. Never were ships more appropriately 
fitted or better adapted for the arduous service they have to 
perform. Yes, indeed, certain I am if there be a passage, and 
that icy barriers will be only sufficiently propitious to give 
them but half the length of their ship, force themselves 
through they will at all risks and hazard. God speed them 
and send them back by Bering's Strait to their native Eng- 
land, covered with imperishable fame." 


Lieutenant Griffiths also reports that 

" He left thetn with every species of provisions for three 
entire year?, independently of five bullocks, 'i'hey had also 
stores for the same time, and fuel in abundance."' 

Sir John, in his last despatch to the Admiralty, written 
at this time, says — 

" The ships are now complete with supplies of every kind 
for three years. They are therefore very deep, but happily 
we have no reason to expect much sea as we proceed further." 




On the lotli of July, they parted company with the 
transport, and sailed from the Whale Fish Islands ; on 
the 26th of July the two ships were seen made fast to 
the ice in Melville Bay, in about 74° 48' N. latitude, and 
66° 13' W. longitude, by Captain Dannet, of the Prince 
of Wales, a whaler from Hull, who received a visit from 
some of the officers of the expedition ; this was, so far as 
is known, the last time the unfortunate vessels were seen, 
at any rate by Europeans. After this date, although 
traces of the missing ships were discovered many years 
after, all is conjecture, all must be left to the imagination, 
to complete one of the saddest stories that has ever been 
told in connection with Arctic enterprise. 

We will, however, endeavour to dovetail together the 
various scraps of information that have subsequently 
come to our knowledge, and so trace the proceedings of 
the expedition from the time when it was last seen by 
the whaler Prince of Wales until the sad and bitter end 
came, but it must be clearly understood that the greater 
part of what is here set forth must, of necessity, be purely 

The ships, ^ve know, pursued their solitary way 
through Baffin's Bay towards Ljincaster Sound. Enter- 
ing this broad channel, they sailed along the coast of 
North Devon, continuing their course to the westward ; 
but ice, that unconquerable foe with which the Arctic 
explorer has to battle, effectually barred the passage, 
and prevented further advance in that direction. Well- 
ington Channel, however, to the northward, appeared 
to be open, and up this they sail, hoping that it may 
eventually lead in a westerly direction, and carry them 
into the eagerly sought for passage. But they are 
doomed to disappointment, for after sailing up this 





cliannel for a distance of about 150 miles, they are again 
stopped by tlieir relentless and implacable enemy the 
ice, and are compelled to turn to the southward ; but 
their return is made by a different channel to that uj) 
which they sailed, a newly-discovered one, which they 
found to exist, separating Cornwallis and Bathurst 
Islands, and which ultimately brought them again into 
Barrow's Strait, about one hundi-ed miles to the westward 
of the entmnco to Wellington Channel, up which they 
had previously sailed. 

Unmistakable signs of the closing in of the navigable 
season were now apparent; the hills and valleys were 
already covered witli their snowy mantle, and the young 
ice was beginning to form on the surface of the water 
to such a thickness as to materially impede the progress 
of the ships. Taking all these circumstances into con- 
sideration, and finding that there was no prospect of ad- 
vancing further to the westward that season, the ships 
retraced their steps a short distance to the eastward, 
and were ultimately seci red in snug winter qiiai'ters 
in a partially protected harbour on the north-east side 
of Beechey Island, the adaptability of which as winter 
quarters had, in all probability, been remaiked and noted 
by Franklin as he passed up Wellington Channel. 

The ensuing winter probably passed as most Arctic 
winters do, in a pleasant and cheerful manner. The 
officers busily occupied themselves in their various scien- 
tific pursuits, looking after the health and welfare of their 
men, and earnestly discussing among themselves their 
future plan of operations, and their prospects of ultimate 
success ; the men in the meantime being actively engaged 
in those multifarious duties that are incidental to a 
winter in the Arctic regions, such as banking the snow 





against the sides of the ships, building snow-houses 
for various purposes, keeping tho fire-hole clear in the 
ice,^ and other minor details connected with the routine 
and ordinarv duties of a man-of-war. We may safely 
infer that everyboily was profitably employed, and that 
they were also happy and cheerful. As the rays of the 


wintp:r quarters, 


Fi oiii a Suiieff by Com. W.J. S. Pulleii, 

\it,. -..** PranMuiT Ohs.Qdri 


IforBuaiiherlanJ, H^icst, 
Lot 74' L ory. ai'i* KT- 


^Is'onh Star laH 3 
-■y<irth Starinxt 4 
*\l<orthumbfrlanA Mo 

» B A Y 

AuQ 1TIS53 




returning sun shed their beams on the distant hills, 
sporting parties were doubtless organised for the purpose 

^ The "lire-hole" is a large hule that is made in the ice, in the 
imtnodiute vicinity of the ship, from which to obtain water in the 
event of fire breaking out. This fire-hole has frequently, day and 
ni^j'ht, to be kept clear of the ice whicli furms on its surface. This 
is the only way by which a constant supply of water can be kept 
ready in the event of fire breaking out, for the pumps of a ship are, 
of course, rendered useless in winter from the pipes all being choked 
by the water becoming frozen in them. 




of scouring the adjacent country in search of game, for 
fresh animal food, they were well aware, was essential to 
the perfect preservation of health. A man like Sir John 
Franklin, with the experience of several Arctic winters 
to look back upon, knew well that in order to preserve 
his men in health he must keep them cheerful and in 
good spirits, with their minds and their bodies fully 

Although perhaps the ardent and enthusiastic Fitz- 
james was somewhat disappointed at the failure of the 
expedition to reach a more advanced position before seek- 
ing winter quarters, still, on the whole, they could regard 
with satisfaction the result of their work during the 
preceding autumn, for in their passage up Wellington 
Channel and down the New Strait to the west of Corn- 
wallis Island, they had explored and mapped 300 miles 
of new coast-line, and they were keenly sensible of the 
fact, that only 250 miles of the unknown, intervened 
between their furthest point and the accomplishment of 
the north-west passage, namely, the distance between 
Cape Walker to King William Island. They were 
therefore, presumably, elated with the cheering prospect 
that was before them, of satisfactorily solving the great 
problem that had so long puzzled and vanquished the 
many bold navigators who had preceded them, and they 
all looked forward with eager excitement to the termi- 
nation of winter, when they would be able to continue^ 
what they felt assured would prove, a most successful 

. '>-i! ''■'■■■ 'li.lf^ . ■ ,Ti> 'tit 



1 846- 1 848. 

*' O world ! 80 few the years we live, 
' * Would that the life that thou dost give, 

Were life indeed ! 
Alas ! thy sorrows fall so fast, 
Our happiest hour is when at last 
Tlie soul is freed." 

The long Polar night, with all its monotony and cheer- 
lessuess, at length came to an end, and in the month 
of February they hailed with joyful delight the return 
of the sun which had been absent for so many weeks, 
and which they knew heralded the approach of summer, 
and was the harbinger of that navigable season during 
which they hoped, and expected, to carry to a successful 
issue the ardent aspirations that animated the breast of 
each individual member of the expedition. Death, how- 
ever, had not been idle in the little community during 
its sojourn at Beechey Island, for they had to mourn the 
loss of three of their numl)er — two seamen who died in 
January, and a marine who died in April. They were 
buried on the island, and the finding of these solitary 
graves, with their simple head-boards and appropriate 
epitaphs, were among the first indications, discovered five 

yearsafterwaixls, of the expedition having wintered there. 





On the release of the ships from their winter quarters, 
which event, in all probability, did not occur until July 
or August, a course was shaped to the westward towards 
Cape Walker, the furthest point reached by them in a 
westerly direction the previous year. "We may assume 
that the usual difficulties inseparable from ice navigation 
were experienced by Franklin and his gallant followers ; 
we may also rest assured that these obstacles were re- 
solutely grappled with and manfully overcome. Their 
chief was not a man to shrink from either difficulty or 
danger, and he well knew he could safely rely upon the 
support of his officers and men in the hour of trial. 
Yet the difficulties in pushing on in the required direc- 
tion must have been very great in his heavy, slow-sailing, 
bluff-bowed ships, for the steam-power at his disposal 
was so limited as to be only of use in perfectly calm 
weather, and in a smooth sea free of ice. 

We know well from the records of previous navigators, 
and also from subsequent experience, that the ice to the 
westward of Barrow's Strait, and in the neighbourhood of 
Cape Walker, is of an exceedingly formidable description. 
In spite, however, of the ponderous nature of the ice, 
Franklin persevered in his endeavours to get through, 
and seeing a channel open to the southward he pushes 
into it, for surely, he thinks, it will eventually lead in 
the right direction. lie knew, if this channel did not 
end in a cul de sa<\ and if the ice permitted him to 
force his ships through, that the last link in the chain 
would be forged, and the north-west passage would be 
triumphantly achieved. This channel, separating North 
Somerset from Prince of Wales's Land, is now called 
Peel Strait. 

All went merrily I everything pointed to a speedy and 




successful termination to their voyage. Sailing past 
the west coast of North Somerset, they fight their way 
bravely mile by mile, and almost inch by inch, along the 
coast of Boothia Felix, until they perhaps get a glimpse 
of King William Island, and almost feel that success 
is actually within their grasp. But alas I although the 
distance that intervenes between their ships and absolute 
success is, perchance, only a little over one hundred 
miles, their further progress is suddenly arrested, their 
vessels are caught and held fast in the rigid embrace of 
the ice, and thus, fast frozen in. a solid and impenetrable 
pack, they are doomed to pass their second winter. 
Little did the poor fellows then imagine, when they were 
busily engaged in making the necessary arrangements for 
pa.ssing that winter, that their ships were inextricably 
frozen in — never again to cleave the blue water of the 
ocean, never to rise an«l fall on its heaving billows, 
never to be released from their icy fetters, until their 
poor battered hulls are rent and riven by their victorious 
enemy, the ice. 

To winter iu the pack is known, happily, only to a 
few — to pass two succestsive winters in the ice is an 
experience that has, fortunately, been vouchsafed to 
fewer still; yet the brave survivors of the Erebus and 
Terror were destined not only to pass one, but two long, 
weary, successive winters, helplessly beset, and firmly 
frozen up in their icy bondage.^ 

Who can describe the sufferings, the dangers, the 
monotony, the eager hopes, to be succeeded by bitter 
disappointments, experienced by those unfortunate men 
during those two fearful winters? They are known 

• Til© position in which the ships wintered wus latitude 70'' 5' N., 
and longitude 98° 23' W. 






only to Him, the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, and 
will never be revealed to mortal man. How keen 
must have been the suspense, and how intense the 
disappointment, felt by all when the following summer, 
that of 1847, dragged out its weary length, and still 
the ships remained irrevocably frozen in their icy 
cradles, without any symptoms being apparent of the 
disruption of the pack. This feeling must have been all 
the more quickeoed, when they remembered that only 
a few short miles lay between them and the successful 
accomplishment of that grand achievement, " the only 
thing whereby a notable mind might be made famous," 
which they had undertaken to risk, and if necessary lay 
down their lives, in order to bring to a successful issua 
Once clear of the ice, and, they thought, all further diffi- 
culties would be overcome and every obstacle removed 
from their path. 

As day succeeded day during that long summer .and 
equally long and weary autumn, so did hope animate 
their hearts, but at length the days began to shorten and 
despondency succeeded hope as the sun sank below the 
southern horizon, to be, alas ! seen no more by many 
on board the two ill-f.ated ships, its last rays wicker- 
ing intermittently in the heavens with bright pris- 
matic colours as it disappeared, not to return for 
long weary months, ominously symbolical of the fate 
that was so soon to overtake them. 

The winter, we may be sure, was not one of ease, 
comfort, or enjoyment. There was little now to cheer the 
drooping spirits of this still undaunted band. Their pro- 
visions were getting low, their ships were helpless logs 
firmly fixed in a relentless grip, and they whispered 
among themselves that help, to be of any avail, must 




be forthcoming before a third winter seized them in its 
dread and inhospitable grasp. During those long dreary 
winter months, the ships were exposed to all the dangers 
inseparable from a winter in the pack, subjected to severe 
ice-pressures which, for all we know to the contrary, so 
strained and damaged the hulls of the already sorely 
stricken vessels as to render them almost, if not wholly, 
un seaworthy. 

And so the second winter came and went, and the 
summer sun once more shone forth and gladdened the 
hearts of those on board with joyful anticipations of 
release, and the hope that they might yet live to see 
their efforts crowned with success. As the daylight 
returns, King William Island, covered in its white garb 
of winter, was occasionally seen to the southward. Once 
past that sterile and dreary-looking coast, and the north- 
west passage would be accomplished, for they would then, 
they well knew, connect with Simpson's, Ross's, and 
Back's discoveries ; but alas ! an ice-encumbered sea 
intervened, choked with thick-ribbed ice, through which 
it was impossible to force their lieavj' and perhaps 
seriously damaged ships. 

The summer was not allowed to pass, however, with- 
out some attempt at exploration, for in the month of 
May, a travelling party was organised and despatched 
with the object of exi)loring the shores of King William 
Island. It consisted of two officers and six men, and 
was commanded by Lieutenant Graham Gore, the first 
lieutenant of the Erebus. The officer that accompanied 
him was Mr. Charles F. Des Vocux, mate, belonging to 
the same ship. Of these two officers, Fitzjames, in one 
of his letters, written to Mr. Barrow on the passage to 
Greenland, writes : — 




" Graham Gore is a man of great stability of character, a 
very good officer, and the sweetest of tempers. He plays the 
flute dreadfully well, draws someiimes very well, sometimes 
very badly, but is altogether a capital fellow." 

He died on board the Erehua during the succeeding 

Of Des Voeux he says : — 

"He is a most unexceptionable, clever, agreeable, light- 
hearted, obliging young fellow." 

The party left the ships on Monday, 24th May, and 
succeeded in reaching Point Victory ^ on King William 
Island ; thence pushing on towards Cape Herschel they, 
perhaps, saw in the distance the continent of North 
America, and realised that the long sought for passage 
had been discovered, and could be actually accomplished 
if they were but able to force their shipy through the 
short icy channel that intervened. Depositing a record,^ 
containing a brief account of their visit, they hurried 
back to their ships to impart the joyful tidings to their 
comrades, in order that they also might share in the 
exultation that they could not but help feeling at 
having ascertained the successful result of the voyage. 
The record was simply a few lines written on a printed 
form supplied to ships for the purpose of being corked 
up in a bottle and thrown overboard, with the object 
of ascertaining the set of tides and currents. 

The lines written by Graham Gore on this printed 

^ This poiut of laud was nuiued by Captain Janiea Ross ia 1830 after 
hi* ship ; it was the furthest point to the westward reached by tliat 
distinguished navigator on King William Island. 

> This record was discovered by Lieutenant Hobson in 1859, while 
serving in the Fox under Sir Leopold M'Olintoik. 




form were to the effect that the Erebus and Tenor 
wintered in the ice in latitude 70° 5' N., and longitude 
98' 23' W., having wintered in 1846-7 ^ at Beechey 
Island in latitude 74° 43' 28" N., longitude 91° 39' 15" 
W., after having ascended Wellington Channel to lati- 
tude 77°, and returned by the west side of Comwallis 
Island. It adds, somewhat significantly, that Sir John 
Franklin was still in command of the expedition, but 
that all were well. This paper is dated the 28th of May 
1847, and is signed by both Grore and Des Vceux.^ 

On their return to the Erehm they found a scene of 
sorrow and mourning which, perhaps judging from the 
somewhat ominous wording of their record, was not 
wholly unexpected. They found their beloved chief, he 
who had before, so often and in so many shapes, been 
face to face with death, stricken down, fighting his last 
battle with that imconquerable foe to whom the bravest 
must eventually strike their colours and yield. Sir John 
Franklin, after a long, honourable, and distinguished 
career, after a life moie eventful and adventurous than 
usually falls to the lot of man, lay on his death-bed. 
Silently were their hands pressed by their sorrowing 
shipmates as they crossed the gangway, and sorrowfully 
was the sad news whispered in their ears, in response 
to the anxious inquiries as lo the health of their leader, 
who they knew would have been the first to welcome 
them on board, had not the hand of sickness been upon 
him. The end, however, had not yet come, and Sir 
John Franklin was permitted, before he passed away, 
to receive from the lips of Graham Gore the announce- 
ment that the north-west passage, for the successful 

^ This is evidently an error, and should be 1845-^ 
' See page 270. 





achievement of which he had sailed from England two 
years ago, and for which he was now willingly and 
cheerfully laying down his life, had been discovered, 
and that he was the man who, by its discovery, had, 
according to old Purchas, made himself famous. 

He fell asleep peacefully on the nth of June 1847, 
with the news of the successful result of the enterprise 
ringing in his ears. 

*' His soul to Him who gave it rose, 
God led it to its long repose, 
Its glorious rest." 

We could not wish a more glorious or a more noble 
termination to a life of fame than was his ; to die on the 
scene of his discoveries, surrounded and beset by the 
ice with which he had so long been battling, and with 
the shout of triumph, the cheer of victory, lighting up 
those dim eyes with a bright and lustrous radiance 
before they closed to be opened no more. 

Spenser's lines in the Fairie Qiteene are very appli- 
cable to the death-bed of Sir John Franklin : — 

'* Is not short payne well borne, that bringes long ease, 
And layes the soule to sleope in quiet graine ? 
Sleepe after toyle, port after stormie seas, 
Ease after warre, death after life does greatly please." 

Sherard Osborn, in his brief but giuphic description 
of the Franklin expedition, in alluding to the death of 
the leader, writes — " Oh, mourn him not ! unless you 
can point to a more honourable end or a nobler grave. 
Like another Moses, he fell when his work was accom< 
plished, with the long object of his life in view. Frank- 
lin, the discoverer of the north-west passage, had his 
Pisgah, and so long as his countrymen shall hold dear 




disinterested devotion and gallant perseverance in a 
good cause, so long shall they point to the career and 
fate of this gallant sailor." 

Thus died Sir John Franklin — a man of gi-eat force 
of character ; one of indomitable energy and courage ; an 
ardent geographer ; an enthusiastic devotee of science ; 
a good officer and seaman ; and above all, a sincere and 
true Christian — one who placed a steadfast reliance and 
implicit faith in an all- wise and beneficent Providence. 

We can picture, in our imagination, that last sad and 
solemn scene on the ice floe; that hushed a.ssemblage 
of wan and famine- stricken men, whose pinclied features 
and attenuated forms, clad in strange garments, tell of 
hardships and privations nobly and resolutely borne. 
They stand with hushed lips and bated breath, with 
their heads bent in silent sorrow and prayer, round a 
grave that has been dug out of the solid ice, into which 
the mortal remains of their beloved chief are quietly 
and reverently laid. The funeral service for the dead 
is read by Captain Ciozier (who has succeeded to the 
command of the expedition), or, perhaps, by his more 
intimate friend Fitzjames, who was now in command 
of the Erehus, whilst that flag, the glorious flag of 
England, under which he had served so long and so 
faithfully in all parts of the world, and against many 
foes, fluttered half-mast from the mizen peaks of the 
two ships. 

It must indeed have been a sad gatheiing of sorrowful 
men that assembled in that wilderness of ice and snow 
on that June day, in 1847, to pay their last mark of 
respect, love, and devotion to their deceased leader. 
They were not only lamenting the loss of a i-evered 
chief who had endeared himself to them by his many 





ncts of kiudness and forethought, one who had instilled 
into the hearts of those under him his own enthusiastic 
desire for the welfaie and success of the expedition, but, 
i-egarding their bereavement from a more selfish point 
of view, they could not help feeling that with his 
death their own chances of being saved were rendered 
all the more remote and pi-ecarious. Tliey knew that 
if necessity, as seemed very probable, compelled them 
to abandon their ships, and seek for aid and relief at 
some of the Hudson's Bay Company's posts on the con- 
tinent of America, they had lost one whose experience 
of, and intimate acquaintance with, those regions would 
have been invaluable, and who alone would, in all pro- 
bability, have been able to guide them to where the 
assistance and the succour that was so essential to their 
salvation could be obtained. They were also well 
aware, poor fellows, that famine, rendered ten times 
more terrible by disease and the ligorous natura of the 
climate, would have to be endured, if a third winter was 
to be passed in their present situation ; and as they gazed 
around on the sad and sorrowful faces of their comrades, 
the painful reflection was unconsciously forced upon them, 
as to who would be alive, if not relieved, in another 
year ? Who would there be left to tell of the death of 
their great and good leader, and of the terrible suffer- 
ings and privations they had all endured ? 

But time did not permit them to indulge at length in 
these or similai' reflections, for the navigable season had 
arrived, and their utmost exertions must be put forth with 
the view of releasing their ships from the icy thraldom 
in which they were imprisoned. The freedom of their 
vessels must be their first thought, for it really was 
their only prospect of salvation. We may be sure that 



everything waa done with this end in view that could 
jKjssibly be accomplished. Ice saws, we may reasonably 
infer, were in constant use ; powder was doubtless em- 
ployed in futile endeavours to break the frozen bonds 
that held their ships so securely, and every expedient, 
we may be certain, was resorted to that science or 
human ingenuity could ; but all were fruitless — 
the ships remained fixed and immovable. But although 
their vessels remained stationary, the ice in which they 
were held captive was not so, and they soon discovered 
that they were drifting slowly with the whole body of 
the pack in a southerly direction. This, at uny rate, 
was promising, and served in a measure to revive their 
drooping spirits, for they thought they might perhaps 
drift down to the American continent, wh<jn their chances 
of rescue and succour would be materially enhanced. 

But as the autumn advanced they had the mortifica- 
tion of finding that their daily drift to the southward wtis 
gradually decreasing, until alas ! it ceased altogether. 
They were then only fifteen shoi-t miles from Point 
Victory, and not more than about sixty from the Ameri- 
can coast. God's will bo done I for they know that — 

" Wiuttii- with lii.-4 nuked arms 
And chilling breath is here ; 
The rills that all the autumn time 
Went singing to the sea, 
Are waiting in their icy chains 
For spring to set them free." 

They are indeed now in dire extremities. It is too 
late in the season to think of abandoning the ships in 
order to seek for succour by attempting to reach the 
American coast, and thence to travel bv the Great Fish 
Kiver to some of the Hudson's Bay establishments in 




that neighbourhood. They knew, from Franklin's former 
terrible experiences, that game was not to be obtained 
during the winter months on the barren lands of the 
continent, so that they were well aware, in the event of 
being unable to reach the Hudson's Buy posts, starva- 
tion must be the inevitable result. Only one course was 
open to them — namely, to pass another long and dreary 
winter in their ships, and then abandon them in the 
following spring, and this of necessity was the one 
decided on and adopted. 

It is unnecessary to attempt to picture the miseries of 
that third winter. Suffice it to say that cold, want, and 
disease did their cruel work, and the sun of 1848 rose 
upon an emaciated, weak, and alas ! a diminished party, 
for we know that no less than nine officers and twelve 
men passed away during those two terrible winters besides 
the three who died during the lii'st winter, and were 
buried at Beechey Island. Among those who died was 
the first lieutenant of the Erebus, " the sweet-tempered " 
Graham Gore, who was the first to discover and i-eport 
the existence of the north-west passage, and who had 
been promoted to the rank of commander in the vacancy 
caused by the death of Sir John Franklin. Poor fellow, 
he did not live long to enjoy his well-earned step. The 
number of officers who perished up to this time seems 
to bear a remarkable and unusual proportion to the 
number of men who died during the same period, and 
can only be accounted for by the supposition that the 
former exposed themselves more than the latter, in 
their endeavours to alleviate the sufferings of thos 
committed to their charge. 

The survivors now number 105, but we may safely 
infer that the greater part of tliese poor fellows were 




sadly reduced by weakness and disease, and some, we 
may also be assured, were in a perfectly helpless condi- 
tion. Nevertheless, having made the best arrangements 
that were, under the circumstances, possible, these brave 
men, in response to the decision to abandon the ships, 
cheerfully manned the drag-ropes of the sledges that 
had been previously prepared and packed, and under 
the leadership of Crozier and Fitzjames, bade farewell 
to the Erehua and Terror on the morning of April 22nd, 
and started on their long journey towards the Great 
Fish River, where they hoped, at any rate, to meet with 
Indians, who might possibly supply them with food. 

Had they but known that Sir James Ross, with a 
couple of ships, would, in four short months, be within 
three hundred miles of the position of the Erebus and 
Terror when they were abandoned, and that relief parties 
from his ships would actually approach more than one 
hundred miles nearer to them, how different might the 
result have been 1 

The necessity for abandoning the ships so early in 
the season seems somewhat unaccountable ; it may have 
been due to the fact that they were running short of 
provisions on board, or, which is quite possible, to 
their anxiety to make an early start It is estimated 
that they were not able to carry away with them on 
their sledges provisions for more than about forty days, 
so that even had they succeeded in reaching the con- 
tinent of America, they would have been without food 
for some considerable time, as their provisions would 
have been expended before they could possibly hope to 
find game in su£Bicient quantity to supply their party with 
food, for, as a rule, the animals do not begin to frequent 
\^\% barren lands of the continent before the latter end 







of the summer. It would therefore, it seems, have been 
better for them to have deferred the abandonment of 
their ships until the month of May, when they would 
have had warmer weather for travelling, provided, of 
course, they had on board the vessels the wherewithal 
to sustain life for that duration of time ; of this, how- 
ever, we have no knowledge, nor will the information 
now ever be forthcoming. 

In addition to the provisions and stores with which 
their sledges were loaded, they also carried a couple of 
whale-boats, which were each secured on a separate sledge. 
That these sledges must have been heavily weighted, as 
seems more than probable, or that the physical capa- 
bilities of the men were much reduced, is evident from 
the fact that it took them three days to reach Point 
Victory, a distance of only fifteen miles. This pain- 
ful fact appears to have been realised by them on 
reaching the land, for at this point they seem to have 
lightened their sledges by abandoni:>g everything that 
could possibly be spared, or that might be considered 
superfluous, carrying with them nothing but those 
articles that were absolutely and essentially necessary 
for their sustenance. This was ascertained in after 
years 1 by finding this particular spot strewn with an 
accumulation of articles of all sorts, such as clothing 
in great quantities, stores of various descriptions, blocks, 
shovels, pick- axes, red, white, and blue ensigns, and even 
the brass ornaments cf a marine's shako, the fragment of 
a copper lightning-conductor and a brass curtain -rod I 
It is a matter of surprise that so many useless articles 
should have been carried away from the ships — articles 
that could not possibly be required (unless they were 

^ In 1859, by Sir Leopold M'Clintock and Lieutenant Hobion. 




specially taken for the purpose of barter with the 
natives), and which could be nothing else than lumber 
on their already heavily laden sledges. 

On their arrival at Point Victory, Lieutenant Irving 
of the Terror found the record that had been left tlie 
previous year by Graham Goro. Unrolling it, Crozier 
and Fitzjames wrote the following words round the 
margin, which tells us briefly all we shall ever know 
of the proceedings of the expedition to that date : ^ — 

•*^2jnZ 25, 1848. — H.M. ships Terror and Erebus were 
deserted on the 22nd of April, five leagues N.N.W. of this, 
having been beset since 12th September 1846. The officers 
and crews, consisting of 105 souls, under the command of 
Captain F. R. M. Crozier, landed here in latitude 69° 37' 42* 
N., longitude 98° 41' W. A paper was found by Lieutenant 
Irving under the cairn supposed to have been built by Sir 
James Ross in 1831, 4 miles to the northward, where it had 
been deposited by the late Commander Gore in June 1847. 
Sir James Ross's pillar has not, however, been found, and the 
paper has been transferred to this position, which is that in 
wbicli Sir James Ross's pillar was erected. Sir John Franklin 
died on the' nth June 1847, and the total loss by deaths in 
the expedition has been to this date 9 officers and 1 5 men. 
Start on to-morrow, 26tli, for Back's Fish River." 

The document is signed by F. R. M. Crozier, captain 
and senior officer, and James Fitzjames, captain H.M.S. 
Mrehm» Regarding the allusion in this record to the 
paper deposited by the sledge party under Graham Gore 
the previous year, it should be observed that the month 
May was originally written, and then subsequently 
scratched out and June substituted. This is evidently 
an error — it should have remained May, for Sir John 
Franklin died on the i ith of June, and we know he was 

* See page 270, 





alive when the travelling party left the Erebus on the 
24th of May ; the paper was written and deposited in 
the cairn four days afterwards. 

Having relieved their sledges of all superfluous 
weights, the retreating party left Point Victory on 


';>•,•'. .. . BBTRBAT. ;'• i ^ / . ..^f, 

the 26th April, and pushed on in a southerly direction, 

adhering to the coast-line of King William Island. We 

^ will not say that with their lightened loads they were 

able to make rapid progress, but we may, at any rate, 




assume that their advance was less slow than when they 
left their ships ; but what a cheerless and a dismal route 
was theirs — 


" All waste ! no sign of life 
But the track of the wolf and the bear t 
No sound but the wild wild wind. 
And the snow crunching under their feet." 

Poor fellows ! their march was indeed a hopeless one, 
and as such they must, one and all, have regarded 
it; but, at the same time, they knew it was their last 
and only chance for life, and who will not fight bravely 
and gallantly when his existence is the stake for which 
he is contending 1 Day by day did the strength of these 
sorely-stricken men diminish, and day by day were their 
hardships and privations increased by want and disease. 
Can we, or shall we ever be able to realise the su£ferings, 
both mental and physical, endured by that half-famished 
band, as they bravely struggled onward ? It is certainly 
impossible to pen a description of them that would in 
any way convey an idea of the reality. 

Before they had proceeded many miles, it became 
only too palpable that in order to afford a chance of 
salvation to even a portion of the party, a division must 
be made — their rate of progression, hampered as they 
were with the sick and helpless, was so slow, that it was 
evident all must perish unless some such arrangement 
was made. It is therefore conjectured that the party 
separated into two bands, the fittest and the strongest 
being selected to push on with the object of procuring 
assistance, if indeed aid was forthcoming, whilst the re- 
mainder, comprising the weak and the sick, should return 
to the ships— better, it was thought, to linger in their 




vessels, where, at any rate, shelter from the inclemency 
and rigour of the climate could be obtained, than to die 
of cold and starvation on the barren snow-covered 
shores of King William Island. One boat, it is assumed, 
was left with the party that remained ; the other was 
taken on to the southward. 

All the knowledge we have been able to gain of those 
poor fellows who, unable to proceed, had been left behind, 
was the discovery of their boat, with her bow pointed 
to the northward in the direction of the ships, and 
containing two human skeletons. It is not difficult to 
guess the terrible fate of this party, for although the 
boat contained a large assortment of clothing and stores 
of all kinds, there was an entire absence of provisionst 
unless a very small quantity of tea and sugar could 
be considered as such. At any rate, there was nothing 
in her that was capable of supporting life. The boat 
was found about fifty miles from Point Victory, and 
about sixty-five from the position the ships occupied 
when abandoned. It is surmised that the men com- 
posing this party, finding their strength unequal to 
drag the boat any further, pushed on to the ships, and 
that the two poor fellows whose skeletons were found in 
the boat, being too weak or ill to accompany them, were 
left behind until relief could be sent to their aid. That 
succour, alas ! never came. 

The southern detachment pushed onwards. They were 
but a small party, and probably did not number more 
than fifty. After struggling } ainfuUy onward, knowing 
that on their exertions the safety of their more helpless 
companions depended, Cape Herschel was reached, and 
here, it is supposed, they must have passed close to the 
cairn erected by Simpson in 1839. This cairn was 




in after years examined by Sir Leopold M'Clintock, but 
in spite of all his efforts to discover some record con- 
cealed within it, no paper or document of any description 
was found. Had any been deposited, it must have been 
destroyed or thrown away by the Eskimos, who would, of 
course, be ignorant of its valua All that was discovered 
was a human skeleton, whose bones were found bleach- 
ing about ten miles to the eastward of Cape HerscheL 
These human remains told with silent eloquence a sad 
and mournful tale, for its position — it was lying face 
downwards — fully bore out the words of an old Eskimo 
woman who had seen, so it was reported, the party re- 
treating to the southward, and who said "they fell 
down and died as they walked along." From Cape 
Herschel the remnants of this wretched band of poor 
wa3rwom, starved, and scurvy-stricken Englishmen 
crossed over to Adelaide Peninsula, where it is sup- 
posed they all perished on their way to the Great Fish 
River, where they hoped to obtain assistance and relief. 
At any rate^ with the exception of a few relics found 
at Montreal Island, which may have been carried thither 
by the Eskimos, no further traces of the party were 
ever found to the southward — all is wrapped in darkness 
and mystery. 

A faint gleam of light is thrown over the last days 
of these unfortunate men by information collected from 
the Eskimos by Dr. Rue in 1854, Sir Leopold M'Clintock 
in 1859, Captain Hall in 1869, and Lieutenant Schwatka 
in 1880. From what could be learnt from the members 
of these nomadic tribes, a party of about forty white 
men were seen during the spring of the year (supposed 
to be 1848) travelling southwards dragging sledges and 
a boat They were very thin, and appeared to be in 




want of provisions. None could speak the Eskimo lan- 
guage, but by signs they gave the natives to understand 
that their ship, or ships, had been destroyed by the ice, 
and they were journeying to where they hoped to get 
deer or other food. 

All this information it must be remembered was 
obtained at second hand from the natives, who had 
received the intelligence from others. They affirmed 
that " several years ago a ship was crushed by the ice 
off the north shore of King William Island, but all her 
people landed safely, and went away to the Great Fish 
Kiver, where they died." A second ship also, we are 
told, " had been seen off King William Island, and that 
she drifted on shore at the fall of the same year." 
When the ship was seen by the natives she was 
apparently intact — one boat was on deck, and four 
others were hoisted up outside. Subsequently she was 
crushed by the ice and destroyed. It was further 
reported that in one of the ships was the body of a 
man, "a tall man, with long teeth and large bones." 
The remains thus found might have been those of some 
poor fellow who had perhaps breathed his last as the 
ships were being abandoned, or he may have formed one 
of that forlorn hope that, as has already been surmised, 
separated from the remainder of their shipmates, and 
attempted to return when they were midway between 
Point Victory and Cape Herschel, only to reach the shelter 
of his ship in time to die. In spite of the most diligent 
search that was made, no vestige of either ship was 
found by M'Clintock or subsequent explorers, so it may 
reasonably be inferred that they had been destroyed and 
completely swept away by the ice, as stated by the 
Eskimos. From the west extreme of King William 





Island to Cape Felix, the low barren shore, destitute 
of vegetation, was strewn with traces of the disastrous 
retreat of our helpless countrymen. 

In 1869 Captain Hall was informed, by the natives he 
met in King William Island, that the graves of two white 
men were found in the vicinity of the Pfeiflfer River, 
and that there was another white man's grave on a long 
low point jutting out into the sea, some five or six miles 
furtLer to the eastward. The remains of five white men 
were also discovered on a small islet, called Todd Islet, 
about two or three miles off this point. Hall was 
further informed that in a bay to the west of Point 
Bichardson, which has subsequently been named Starva- 
tion Cove, a boat covered with an awning and containing 
. the remains of thirty or thirty- five men was found. It 
was also reported that a tent had been seen in the 
vicinity of Terror Bay, "the floor of which was com- 
pletely covered with the bodies of white men." In 
fact, the line of retreat of these unfortunate men 
was clearly defined by the skeletons of those poor 
fellows who had dropped down and died as they walked 

Thus perished that gallant band of heroes who, so 
full of hope and enthusiasm, left England in 1845 under 
the leadership of Sir John Franklin, resolved to do all 
that lay in their power to deserve, even if they could not 
command, success. 

How well and nobly, in the face of unparalleled hard- 
ships and difficulties, they carried out that resolution, 
has been abundantly proved. Glorious as is the story 
of this ill-fated expedition, it is a sad and harrowing 
one. But it does us good to think of it, for it excites 
our admiration and kindles our respect for those brave 




men, " the World's Great Explorers," who have cheer- 
fully and willingly borne great sufferings and priva- 
tions—aye, and have unhesitatingly laid down their 
lives — in the interesting, useful, and great cause of 
exploration and geographical science. 




" In battle fearless, and in danger brave, 
Bearing his country's red-cross flag aloft, 
Triumphant over foes and elements, 
No peril stopped him." 

As the year 1847 arrived, and brought with it no in- 
telligence of, or from, Sir John Franklin, and those 
serving under his command, considerable anxiety was 
naturally felt in England regarding their safety, for 
the fact that they were only supplied with stores and 
provisions to last until the early part of 1848 was well 
known. There were not wanting those who already took 
a gloomy view of affairs, and predicted disaster ; while 
others, in responsible positions, looked upon the matter 
in a more practical light, and judging that the time 
for energetic action had arrived, brought pressure to 
bear on the Qovemment to induce it to consider the 
necessity of not only sending relief in the shape of 
supplies to various parts of the North American 
continent, but also urged the desirability of at once 
instituting an organised search on an extended scale 
for the absent expedition. So impressed were the 

Admiralty with the views thus set forth, and with 






the necessity of adopting some measures of immediate 
relief, that in the summer of 1847 ^^^7 made arrange- 
ments with the Hudson's Bay Company for the despatch 
of a large supply of provisions ^ to their most northern 
stations in North America, in readiness for the crews 
of Franklin's ships, should they have abandoned their 
vessels and be retreating in that direction. 

Instructions were also sent to the various Hudson's 
Bay Company's posts to warn the Indians to look out for, 
and assist the survivors, if fallen in with. Large rewards 
were likewise offered by the Government to the masters 
and crews of all ships employed in the whale fishery in 
Baffin's Bay, should they perchance " succeed in obtain- 
ing any information or record of the progress of the 
Erebus and Terror through Lancaster Sound and to 
the westward." This was supplemented by a reward 
of ;^20oo offered by Lady Franklin, to anybody who 
should obtain reliable information regarding the fate, 
or otherwise, of the missing expedition. 

When the year 1847 passed without bringing any 
tidings of the absent ships, the Government lost no 
time in adopting what they considered to be the best 
means for ascertaining the whereabouts, or the fate, of 
the missing expedition. In the first place, it was decided 
to institute a search by following, very wisely, as much 
as possible, in the footsteps of Franklin. With this 
object in view, two vessels, the Enterpnse of 471 tons, 
and the Investigator of 420 tons burthen, were selected 
and commissioned, and the charge of them entrusted to 
Captain Sir James Clarke Ross. With him was asso- 
ciated Captain Edward Bird, who was appointed to the 
command of the second ship. These officers were ez- 

I The amouDt lent wai aeventy-fiye dnys' proviaiona for lao men. 





perienced ice navigators, and had token part with Parry 
during his men7orable attempt to reach the North Pole 
in 1837. The latter served also as first lieutenant of 
the Erehua in Ross's Antarctic voyage. 

A second expedition, under the command of Franklin's 
old friend and travelling companion, Sir John Richard- 
son, with Mr. John Rae (an ofiicial belonging to the 
Hudson's Bay Company), was sent with orders to de- 
scend the Mackenzie River, and examine the coast 
thence to the Coppermine River, as also the southern 
and western shores of WoUaston Land. In order to 
render the search as complete as possible, another 
expedition, consisting of the Herald, under Captain 
Kellett, and the Plover, under Commander Moore, was 
sent to Bering's Strait, with instructions to proceed 
along the American coast as far as possible to the east- 
ward, and to endeavour to communicate with the party 
under the command of Sir John Richardson. 

Thus it appears that everything was done that could 
possibly be accomplished, in order to afford relief and 
succour to the absent explorers, or to obtain intelligence 
of their fate in the event of any untoward catastrophe 
having befallen them. 

The first-named expedition, that under the command 
of Sir James Clarke Ross, sailed from England on the 
12th June 1848. Proceeding without much difficulty 
up Baffin's Bay and Lancaster Sound, it was ultimately 
stopped by an ice barrier across Barrow's Strait, and 
they were compelled to seek winter quarters in Port 
Leopold, on the north-east coast of North Somerset. 
During the ensuing spring, travelling parties from the 
ships reached Cape Hurd, on the north shore of Barrow's 
Strait, while the eastern and the western coasts of Prince 






Regent Inlet as far south as Fury beach were carefully 

Had the survivors from the Erebus and Terror mode 
for Fury beach instead of attempting to reach the 
Great Fish River, the probabilities are they would have 
been saved, for they would there have found all the 
stores and provisions that had been landed from the 
Furi/ when that vessel was wrecked in 1825. These 
would have been more than sufficient to sustain the 
party until the following spring (that of 1849), ^hen 
they would have been found and relieved by the search 
parties sent out by Sir James Ross from Port Leopold. 
Captain Crozier must have been well aware of the exist- 
ence of this large depdt of provisions, for he was serving 
in the Fury at the time of her loss. It is, however, 
assumed that he did not feel justified in conducting 
his unfortunate men some seventy or eighty miles out 
of their course, when there was the possibility of the 
provisions having been discovered and appropriated by 
the Eskimos. He was not ignorant of the fact that Sir 
John Ross, with his small party, wintered at Fury beach 
in 1832-3, and that when he left, there was an ample 
supply of provisions remaining.^ 

During this spring of 1849, ^^^ James Ross, accom- 
panied by Lieutenant M'Clintock, travelled as far as 
Cape Coulman in Feel Strait, in latitude 72° 38' N. 
They were then, although they were ignorant of the 
fact, in the direct track of Franklin's shipa Hod it 

1 Sir L. M'OliatoGk visited Fury beach in 1859, and found every- 
thing intact. 

The Editor also of this work paid Fury beach a visit in 1873, when 
he found the remaiuing stores and provisions in a perfect state of 





been posHible for them to continue their journoy they 
would, in all probability, have seen the deserted vessels, 
but their provisions being nearly expended necessitated 
their return from this point to Port Leopold. On the 
arrival of the Enterprise and Investigator at Port Leopold 
in the autumn of 1 848, those ships were actually within 
300 miles of the position of the Erebus and l^error, 
four mo7itJi8 after those unfoi-tunate vessels had been 
abandoned ! 

Ross returned to England somewhat unexpectedly in 
the autumn of 1849, having been beset by the ice off 
Leopold Island, in which he had drifted out of Lancaster 
Sound into Baffin's Bay. He missed a store ship, the 
North StaVf that had been despatched in May to meet 
him, laden with provisions for his use. She wintered in 
Wolstenholme Sound, on the west coast of Greenland. 

Sir John Richardson also returned in 1849, having 
been unsuccessful in his efforts to discover any traces of 
the missing expedition, although he had made a thorough 
examination of the Arctic shores of America between 
the Mackenzie and Coppermine Rivers. His attempts 
to cross over to Wollaston Land were frustrated by 
heavy ice being packed in the channel. This accom- 
plished and indefatigable officer subsequently assisted in 
the preparation of the pemniican for nearly all the search- 
ing expeditions, and personally superintended the supply 
of the other provisions and stores required by them. 

At this time the Government offered a reward of 
;^20,ooo, to which Lady Franklin offered a further sum of 
;^3ooo, to any " exploring party or parties as may, in the 
judgment of the Admiralty, have rendered efficient assist- 
ance to Sir John Franklin, his ships, or their crews." 

On the return of Sir James Ross, the Government, 




with commendable promptitude, resolved upon the im- 
mediate examination of those places in the Polar basin 
where it was thought most likely that traces of the 
missing expedition might be discovered. With this 
object in view, the Enterprise and Investigaior were at 
once re- equipped and re-commissioned, but this time for 
the purpose of entering the unknown area from the 
westward through Bering's Strait. The command of 
this expedition was given to Captain Richard Collinson, 
C.B., an accomplished surveyor and a distinguished 
officer, who hoisted his pendant in the Enterprise^ while 
Commander Robert J. Le Mesurier M'Clure, who had 
served as a mate in the Terror with Captain Back in 
1836, and was Jh-st lieutenant of the Enterpnse in 
Boss's late expedition, was appointed to the command of 
the Investigator. These vessels left England in January 
1850, with orders to pass through Bering's Strait during 
the following navigable season, and thence proceed with 
the utmost expedition to the eastward, and examine 
Melville Island, Banks Land, Wollaston and Victoria 
Land, or otherwise according to the discretion and judg- 
ment of Captain Collinson. The Plover was also ordered 
to winter in Kotzebue Sound in order to act as a dep6t, 
whence assistance could be obtained in the unfortunate 
event of any serious calamity befalling the two ships. 

Four months after the departure of the Enterprise 
and Investigatory a goodly squadron, consisting of the 
ships Resolute, Assistance, and the steam tenders In- 
trepid and Fioneer^^ sailed under the command of 

^; ■ 

1 This wns prncvically the first occasion on which full-powored 
steamers were employed in ice navig'itiou. The result was so favoiir- 
able that steani-whalors were gradually introduced in the Baffin's Bay 
whale fishery to the total exclusion of sailing shiits. 

[From a I'/tologmph 6y AUx. Basnam.] 


Captain Horatio Austin, O.B., with Captain Eras- 
mus Ommaney as his second, with the object of 
carrying out an exhaustive search through Lancaster 
Sound in the direction of Melville and the Parry 

In addition to these vessels, a couple of whaling brigs, 
under the command of Captains Penny and Stewart, two 
successful and experienced whaling skippers, were also 
despatched by the Government, with ordera to under- 
take the examination of Jones Sound and Wellington 
Channel ; whilst an American expedition, fitted out at 
the expense of that munificent and pi ilanthropic citizen 
of New York, Mr. Henry Grinnell, and manned by 
ofiHeers and seamen of the United States Navy, was 
sent out to Lancaster Sound in order to assist in the 
search, and to co-operate with their English brethren in 
the humane and important work entrusted to them. This 
expedition was commanded by Lieutenant De Haven of 
the United States navy. Lady Franklin also, at her 
own expense, equipped the Prince Albeii^ a schooner of 
ninety tons, which sailed under the command of Com- 
mander Forsyth, R.N., with instructions to explore the 
8hoi*es of Prince Kegent Inlet. And finally that gallant 
and intrepid old veteran Sir John Ross, who was then 
in his seventy-fourth year, and had reached the rank 
of admiral, went up in a small schooner called the 
Felix, accompanied by a little yacht of twelve tons 
named the Mary. This Intter expedition was equipped 
and fitted out paitly at the cost of the Hudson's 
Bay Company, and partly by private subscription. It 
passed the winter of 1 850-1 off the coast of Cornwallis 

Thus, in the autumn of 1850, there were no less thaik 

Il I 






fifteen vessels, directly and indirectly, engaged in the 
search for Sir John Franklin and his missing ships. 
To these various expeditions must be added a boat 
journey made by Lieutenant Pullen, who was sent by 
Captain Kellett from Point Barrow to the eastward 
along the north coast of America to the Mackenzie 
River, which he ascended as far as the Great Slave 
Lake ; while Dr. Rae was also employed in exploring 
the neighbourhood of the Coppermine River and the 
shores of Wollastoa and Victoria Land. It will thus 
be seen that the entire ct)ntinental coast-line between 
Bering's Strait to a position in latitude 70° on the 
east coast of Victoria Land, was to be thoroughly 

Everything was conducted on a most liberal and 
generous scale, and in such a way as to satisfy the 
country that no stone would be left unturned in order 
to find some trace, if any existed, of tht missing ships 
and their gallant crews. The Polar area explored by 
these several expeditions was very extensive, and great 
and important geographical work was necessarily 
effected ; but they failed in the accomplishment of the 
main object for which they were despatched, namely, 
the relief of Franklin and his companions, and their fate, 
unhappily, continued to be wrapped in dark and pro- 
found mystery. 

The ships under the command of Captain Austin 
wintered at Griffith Island in Barrow's Strait; but 
before seeking winter quarters, great joy and no little 
excitement was caused by the discovery that the miss- 
ing expedition under Sir John Franklin had passed 
their first winter (1845-6) at Beeohey Island. The lirst 
traces of the lost ones were discovered by Captain 




Ommaney of the Assistance at Point Riley,^ and the 
graves of three of those who had died during that winter 
{vide page 213) were subsequently found by Captain 

i^Sti — 



; but 




l\e lirst 



Penny. The neighbourhood was, as may well be ima- 
gined, thorough]}' searched in the hope of finding a 

^ At Frtuklin'H winter quarters were found several henpi oonsiating 
cf preserved meat tins filled with gravel, raised to a heigiit of two 
feet, and varying in breadth from tliree to four yards. 

Dr. Rutherlnnd computed the number of these tins to be about 700, 
wttiie lUiUiy Dtwre w«re also found scattered about during the search 





record, or document, that would afford some clue as to 
the direction it was intended that the Erebus and Terror 
should take after breaking out of winter quarters, but 
although diligent search was made nothing could be 
found. From this point all traces of the missing ez> 
pedition ceased, and the veil of darkness and obscurity 
was again lowered, only to be lifted by Bae and M'Clin- 
took at a later data 

In the spring of 1851, under a careful and elaborate 
system of sledging, organised by Captain Austin on the 
lines originally laid down by Parry and James Ross, 
travelling parties were despatched to search in various 
directions. The only method by which the search could be 
efficiently arranged was, of course, to follow the general 
tenor of Sir John Franklin's instructions, in which both 
Wellington Channel and a route to the southward and 
wegtward of Cape Walker are mentioned ; but it was also 
necessary for Captain Austin to provide for exhaustive 
searches in other directions. With this object in view 
Captain Penny undertook the examination of Wellington 
Channel, while Austin despatched three extended sledge 
expeditions to the westward — two were sent round Cape 
Walker 10 the south-west, and one went due south into 

for records. These tins were labelled "Goldner's patent," and had 
been supplied, under directions from the Admiralty, to the expedition 
as "preserved meat." From the fact that an enormous quantity of 
these tins supplied to the navy, were subsequently found to contain 
putrid meat, and from the fact that so large a quantity of meat as these 
empty tins were calculated to hold, could not have been used by the 
members '^f the expedition during their first winter, it is supposed 
that the defective condition of tin contents of the tins was discovered, 
and a survey of them ordered. If this surmise be a correct one, the 
loss of so large a proportion of what would be considered fresh, 
in contradistinction to salt, provisions would be most serious, and 
would so cripple their resources, as to lead in all probability to the 
disastrous fate of the expedition. 





the channel now called Feel Sound. One of these, under 
Lieutenant M'Clintock, explored to the westward as far 
as Melville Island, while two parties, under Captain 
Ommaney and Lieutenant Sherard Osborn respectively, 
searched from Cape Walker to the south-west along the 
north and west coasts of Prince of Wales' Land. Lieu- 
tenant Mecham, travelling in the same direction, dis- 
covered Russell Island, and Lieutenant Browne explored 
the western shore of Peel Strait as far south as latitude 
72* 49'. The latter searching party, like that of Sir 
James Ross in 1849, only on the other side of the same 
channel, was actually directing its energies along the 
same track taken by the Erebus and Terror ; they were, 
however, at the time ignorant that they were following 
in the footsteps of Franklin, for, unfortunately, no cairn, 
no record, not even a trace had been left by the missing 
ones, that could afford a clue to those who were in quest 
of them as to the direction they had taken. Lieutenant 
Browne's travelling party actually reached within 150 
miles of the position where the Erebus and Terror 
were abandoned. The different searching parties, de- 
spatched by Captain Austin, examined no less than 
1500 miles of coast-line, 850 of which were hitherto 

Thus everything that human forethought and human 
exertions could possibly devise or accomplish, appears 
to have been done to facilitate the discovery of some 
traces of the missing expedition ; but it was unhappily 
without avail — the various searching parties returnetl 
one after the other, only to report that their efforts 
had not been crowned with success, and the fate of 
Franklin remained as mysterious and as impenetrable 
a secret as ever. 





The total absence of cairns along the route pursued 
by Franklin is most unaccountable, for this well-known 
form of Arctic beacon is easily constructed from material 
always at hand ; they form conspicuous landmarks, and 
their importance as such was well known to Franklin 
and his officers. If they had been Gi'ected, the direc- 
tion for the search would have been indicated, and an 
enormous amount of labour would have been saved, 
while a successful issue of the search would possibly have 
been the result. The only reason that can be advanced 
for this apparent neglect, of what has always been con- 
sidered as one of the most important duties of an Arctic 
explorer, is the supposition that the channels were 
comparatively clear of ice when the Erehits and Terror 
passed through, and that it was in consequence deemed 
inexpedient to delay the progress of the vessels by stop- 
ping to build cairns — a serious omission, however, for 
their absence necessitated the expenditure of much in> 
valuable time, besides a great waste of money in the 
prosecution of a long and fruitless search. 

With the exception of the Ihterjrrise and Investi- 
gator, the ships that sailed from England in 1850 in 
search of Franklin, returned the following year ; — indeed 
the Prince Albert did not even remain out a winter, 
but came home in the autumn of 1850, bringing the 
earliest intelligence to England of the fact that Franklin 
had passed his first winter at Beeohey Island. 

We will now turn to the proceedings of the Enterprise 
and Invest i(/ator. Sailing from England on the 20th 
January 1850, these vessels passed through the Straits 
of Magellan, and touching at the Sandwich Islands, pro- 
ceeded at once to Bering's Strait ; shoitly, however, after 
entering the Pacific the two ships accidentally sepa- 

III! 'i 

Captain Sir Robert McClure. 

( From a painting by Utephtn Ftarce in the possesswn of Col. John Bar»mv.) 




ruted» nnd they n»»ver joined company agiiin ilurinp th< 
remainder of the cruise. JJoth these vessels made 
reniarkiible, and, .io far as Polar navigation is c()ncerne<l, 
wondoifully successful voyuges. The InveslUjator^ under 
Captain M't.Mure, sailed along the north of the 
American continent, an<l may l>o accredited with the 
discovery of tho existence of two north west passages, 
viz., one through Prince of Wales' Strait (whore th*» 
ship wintered in 1850) into Melville Sound, and tho other 
from the westward, round the north ooast of Bank's 
Tjand to Melville Sound. The last-named passage wat* 
actually arcomplislw*! hy Capttin M'Cluro and his 
otTicers and cnnv ; for after havintj passed two con- 
secutive wintt'ih in the iJay of (}o<rs Mercy on the 
noHh coast of FianU's Tinnd, wher«-» their ship \»a« iire 
vocably frozen up, lhi»»r p<»«i«ion «»n/» lurkilv difl4»\>»nxi 
by a sledge party from the licKolute, lo which ship 
they retreatcil when they abandoned the Invfdviat>yr} 
They were subsequently, but not until after a foiirth 
winter had been spent in tho Arctic regions, trans- 
ferred to the Ph(rnix, in which ship they wei*e brought 
to ICngland. They thus had the supreme satisfw?- 
tion and iionour of IxMug tlie first, and ordy, peoj>le 
who had crossed from the Pacilir ()it«an to the Atlantic 
to tho northward of Auhsicji. In acknowh^lgment of 
this service tiie sum of ;,{, 10,000 was awarded by the 
English Governnnmt to (Japtain M't.'tunj arul the crew 
of the Invest ujat or. 


' Had the Blctljiiiig partioa from tlie Rcfofuir not fouinl the Inittli- 
nr.tov wlien they «Hil, it wai» tho intention of Captniii M'duro to 
ahnndon his ship aiul nttcinpt a retreat on th(5 I^lHckcnziu «>i C<>|>l><it- 
mine l{ivuis. The rcKult would inevitably have bxjtn wi fat»? t« 
hiH crew as was Franklin's unsuccessful attempt to roach h^tk » 





:n m 
« m 

'*• u >I 





1.25 1.4 


^ 6" — 




























WEBSTER, N.Y. 14580 

(716) 872-4503 




1 i 

(J-rifm a />»iHting if '%. •'* >?*»*i»W » »» j^m»mi»m <^ Col. John Barr^nv.) 



rated, and they never joined company again during the 
remainder of the cruise. Both these vessels made 
remarkable, and, so far as Polar navigation is concerned, 
wonderfully successful voyages. The Investigatory under 
Captain M'Clure, sailed along the north coast of the 
American continent, and may be accredited with the 
discovery of the existence of two north-west passages, 
viz., one through Prince of Wales' Strait (where the 
ship wintered in 1850) into Melville Sound, and the other 
from the westward, round the north coast of Bank's 
Land to Melville Sound. The last-named passage was 
actually accomplished by Captain M'Clure and his 
officers and crew; for after having passed two con- 
secutive winters in the Bay of God's Mercy on the 
north coast of Bank's Land, where their ship was irre- 
vocably frozen up, their position was luckily discovered 
by a slec'ge party from the Resolute, to which ship 
they retreated when they abandoned the Investigator.^ 
They were subsequently, but not until after a fourth 
winter had been spent in the Arctic regions, trans- 
ferred to the Phoenix, in which ship they were brought 
to England. They thus had the supreme satisfac- 
tion and honour of being the first, and only, people 
who had crossed from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic 
to the northward of America. In acknowledgment of 
this service the sum of ;^i 0,000 was awarded by the 
English Grovernment to Captain M'Clure and the crew 
of the Investigator. 

1 Had the sledging parties from the Resolute not found the Inveati- 
gator when they did, it was the intention of Captain M'Clure to 
abandon his ship and attempt a retreat on the Mackenzie or Copper- 
mine Rivers. The result would inevitably have been as fatal to 
his orew as was Franklin's unsuccessful attempt to reach Back's 






In the words of the Select Committee of the House 
of Commons, appointed to consider the amount of the 
reward that should be given to the officers and crew 
of the Investigator for the discovery of a north-west 
passage — 

"They performed deeds of heroism which, though not 
accompanied by the excitement and glory of the battle-field, 
yet rival, in bravery and devotion to duty, the highest and 
most successful achievements of war ! " 

The intelligence of M'Clure's success was first brought 
to England by Lieutenant Cresswell, one of the officers 
of the Investigator. At a public reception given to 
this officer on his arrival at his native place, Lynn in 
Norfolk, Lord Stanley, in referring to the discovery of 
the north-west passage, thus addressed him — 

" It was a triumph that would not be valued the less highly 
because it was not stained by bloodshed — a triumph that was 
not embittered by any single painful or melancholy reminis- 
cence — a triumph not over man, but over nature — a triumph 
which inflicts no injury, and which humiliates no enemy— a 
triumph not for this age alone, but for posterity — not for 
England only, but for mankind." 

The voyage of the Enterprise, under Captain Collinson, 
was no less remarkable. Like the Investigator^ she also 
sailed along the north coast of America, and wintered 
in 185 1 at the south extreme of Prince of Wales' Strait. 
Thence she worked her way to the eastward, spending 
her next winter in Cambridge Bay, at the east extreme of 
Dease Strait, and not more than 150 miles from the posi- 
tion reached by the Erebus and Terror when those ships 
were abandoned. In the spring of 1 85 3, travelling parties 
from the Enterprise actually passed within a very. few. 




miles — not more than twenty — from the spot where the 
iinfortun&te vessels had been left, but unhappily without 
discovering any remains of them, or traces of their crews. 
It is most unfortunate that the western shore of King 
William Island, which was only about forty-five miles 
distant, should have been neglected; for had it been 
visited, the traces that were afterwards discovered by 
Bae and M'Clintock would assuredly have been found 
by CoUinson, although we cannot think that any sur- 
vivors of the expedition could at that time have 
been alive. The Enterprise returned to England ca 
the 6th May 1855, after one of the most adventurous 
and remarkable voyages that has ever been made in 
the Arctic Seas. 

On the return of the ships from Lancaster Sound in 
185 1, much disappointment was not unnaturally felt at 
the unsuccessful result of the search, more especially 
when the hopes and expectations of the public had been 
somewhat raised by the news taken home in 1850, by 
the Prince Albert, relative to the traces found at Beechey 
Island. Immediately on the return of that vessel she 
was re-equipped for Arctic service by Lady Franklin, 
and despatched in the summer of the following year, 
under the command of Mr. Kennedy, for the purpose 
of exploring Prince Regent Inlet. ^ 

During this voyage Bellot Strait, a channel separating 
North Somerset from Boothia Felix, was discovered. 
Thence Mr. Kennedy prosecuted the search to the west 

1 The veteran John Hepburn, Franklin's faithful follower and com* 
panion in his adventurous land journey in 1819, served in the Prince 
Albert on this expedition ; also Lieutenant Bellot, a gallant officer of 
the French navy, who had volunteered for the service, and who was 
afterwards unfortunately drowned, while leading a sledge party in 
Wellington Channel. 




and north, as far as the north-east point of Prince of 
Wales* Land, which is only about thirty miles from Cape 
Walker. He regained his ship by making the complete 
circuit of North Somerset. 

Here again the searching parties seem to have been 
actuated by the same unfortunate fatality as in former 
expeditions. Had Mr. Kennedy directed his steps to 
the south-west in accordance with his instructions, instead 
of exploring to the north-west, traces of those he was in 
search of would assuredly have been discovered. It seems 
almost incredible that so many of our searching parties 
should have examined, and thoroughly explored, the 
region in the immediate neighbourhood of the disastrous 
retreat of our fellow-countrymen, and yet just missed 
finding traces of them, or any evidence to show that 
they had visited the locality. 

Lady Franklin, not satisfied with what had been 
accomplished, or rather with the want of success that 
had attended the various efforts to obtain tidings of 
her husband and his brave companions, fitted out the 
little screw steamer Isahel, and despatched her under 
the command of Commander Inglefield in the autumn 
of 1852. He returned after an absence of three months, 
having sailed to the head of Baffin's Bay, and having 
looked into Smith's Sound, but without adding or 
obtaining any information of importance, relative to the 
missing expedition. 

In the early part of 1852 elaborate preparations were 
again made by the Government for a renewal of the 
search. The ships that had recently returned under 
Captain Austin, the Assistance, Resolute, Intrepid, and 
Pioneer, were brought forward, refitted and again made 
efficient for Arctic service. These vessels were placed 




under the command of Captain Sir Edward Belcher, 
who flew his pendant in the Assistance. The other 
three vessels were commanded respectively by Kellett, 
M'Clintock, and Sherard Osborn. The North Star^ under 
Captain PuUen, was also attached to this squadron as a 
dep6t or relief ship. They sailed from "Woolwich in 
April 1852. 

Sir Edward's instructions were, briefly, to despatch one 
of his vessels, accompanied by a steamer, up Wellington 
Channel, while the other ship and remaining steamer 
were to push westward in the direction of Melville Island. 
These orders were ostensibly based on the knowledge that 
Sir John Franklin had passed his first winter at the 
entrance to Wellington Channel, and it was therefore 
hoped that by searching that strait, traces of the miss- 
ing expedition might be found. The object of sending a 
portion of the squadron to the westward, was with the 
view of meeting any of the travelling parties from the 
Investigator and Enterprise^ which might possibly, it 
was supposed, have reached positions in the vicinity of 
Melville Island. 

The directions given to Sir John Franklin for his 
guidance in the route he was to pursue were again 
ignored, and the searching vessels were particularly 
ordered to devote theii- attentions to the north and to 
the west, and not to the south-'westj the course that 
Franklin had been expressly enjoined to take ! As a 
matter of fact. Sir John had been specially warned to 
avoid attempting the passage to the westward by Melville 
Island, in consequence of the difficulties from ice expe- 
rienced and reported by Sir Edward Parry, yet it was 
to Melville Island and its vicinity, that the attention 
of Sir Edward Belcher was especially directed. It must 





not however be forgotten that these orders were, in all 
probability, issued in view of the apprehensions then 
being felt regarding the safety of M'Olure and CoUin- 
son, and the expedition was intended to succour and 
relieve them equally with the prosecution of the search 
for Franklin. 

The western expedition, under Captain Kellett, was 
ordered to establish dep6ts of provisions on Melville 
Island, and they were likewise directed to send " travel- 
ling parties in a westerly direction for the purpose of 
searching for traces of Sir John Franklin," and pre- 
sumably also with the object of obtaining intelligence 
of CoUinson and M'Clure. Both parties, it will be 
observed, were ordered to search localities to the north 
of Barrow's Strait, for an expedition that had been 
specially directed to proceed to the south-west of that 
channel ! These apparently extraordinary orders were 
issued in accordance, it is stated, with the views of 
experienced Arctic officers, and the existing popular 
feeling at the time. 

It will be unnecessary to enter into any detailed 
account of these expeditions. Suffice it to say, that 
Sir Edward, with the Assistance and Pioneer, wintered 
in Northumberland Sound, having successfully taken 
his ships up Wellington Channel to latitude 76° 52'. 
Kellett, with the Resolute and Intrepid, wintered rtt 
Dealy Island, on the south side of Melville Island, while 
Captain PuUen, in the North Stw, passed the winter 
at Beecbey Island. From these several stations both 
sledge and boat expeditions were despatched to search 
in every direction, and much good and useful geogra- 
phical work was achieved. Commander M'Clintock, 
with his usual energy, explored Melville and Prince Pat* 




rick Islands to their northern extremities, while other 
officers examined, and accurately delineated, the coasts 
of Bathurst, Melville, and Cornwallis Islands. It was 
during one of these expeditions, in the autumn of 1852, 
that a record was found at Winter Harbour, in Melville 
Island, containing the important information that the 
Investigator was frozen up in the Bay of Mercy; she 
,was discovered the following summer, and the officers 
and crew rescued and taken on board the Resolute^ as 
has already been related. In the summer of 1853 Sir 
Edward Belcher ordered all the ships to rendezvous 
at Beechey Island; but before reaching that place 
his ship and the Pioneer were beset in the ice in 
Wellington Channel, where he was compelled to pass 
the second winter. A similar fate befell Captain Kel- 
lett, who also, with his two ships, was caught by the ice, 
and compelled to winter in the pack in Melville Sound. 

In the following year, for some unaccountable reason 
best known to Sir Edward Belcher, the commander of 
the expedition issued directions for the abandonment of 
all four ships, and the officers and crews were conveyed 
to England in the North Star, Talbot and Phoenix. The 
last named steamer had been despatched from Eng- 
land under the command of Captain Inglefield in the 
summer of 1854, accompanied by a transport with 
stores and provisions for Sir Edward's ships. 

The subsequent wonderful drift of the Resolute out 
of Barrow's Strait, Lancaster Sound, through Baffin's 
Bay, and into Davis Strait, where she was picked up 
by an American whaler, and afterwards presented by 
the United States Government to our Admiralty, fur- 
nishes a remarkable proof of the force and direction 
of the current in that resion. ' . . ■ .i 

> ■ ' 




I i 

I i 




The wholesale abandonment of a fine squadron, without 
apparently any reason, was a great blow not only to 
the search for Franklin, but also to Arctic exploration 
generally. The Government, on the return of Sir 
Edward Belcher, regarded the fate of Franklin as con- 
clusive; they decided that no further steps should be 
taken in the matter, and they allowed private enter- 
prise to step in and solve the problem of that fate, 
the solution of which should undoubtedly have been 
the work of the nation. The apathy displayed by 
England at this time, in its bounden duty to use every 
effort to obtain reliable intelligence regarding its missing 
sons, was in striking contrast to the feeling that ani- 
mated the hearts of our American kinsmen, who had 
already done so much to assist us in our search for the 
lost expedition. 

In May 1 85 3 the schooner Advance^ fitted out by private 
subscription (the main burden of the expense being borne 
by Messrs. Henry Grinnell and George Peabody), and 
under the auspices of the United States Government, 
sailed from New York under the command of Dr. Elisha 
Kane, an accomplished and enterprising officer, who had 
served as surgeon under De Haven in the same vessel, 
the Advance, in 1850. Under the impression that Frank- 
lin had proceeded in a northerly direction, for reasons 
that it is needless to discuss here, except that the sup- 
posed existence of an open Polar sea was the principal 
reason for determining the direction of the search. Dr. 
Kane sailed up Baffin's Bay into Smith's Sound. 

This expedition, so far as the search for Franklin is 
concerned, was, as might be anticipated from the direc- 
tion in which it was ordered to proceed, a failure ; but 
it led to important geographical discoveries, the prin^ 







cipal being the exploration of the southern part of Smith's 
Sound. The little Advance, after many narrow escapes 
from being destroyed by the ice, was eventually secured 
in winter quarters in Rensseliier Bay, in latitude 78° 3^' ; 
this was, at the time, the highest northern latitude in 
which any ship had pjissed a winter. 

Here two winters were spent when, as they were 
unable to extricate her from the ice, she was abandoned. 
After many perils and privations, Dr. Kane and his 
half-starving party succeeded in reaching, by boats, the 
Danish settlements on the west coast of Greenland, 
whence they eventually took passage to New York, 
arriving in that city on the nth October 18515. 

Meanwhile Dr. Rae was sent in 1853 by the Hudson's 
Bay Company to connect his discoveries round Com- 
mittee Bay, with those of Sir James Ross on the western 
coast of Boothia Felix, in the neighbourhood of the 
Magnetic Pole. In the spring of 1854, having passed 
the winter in Repulse Bay, he started in prosecution of 
his orders. On the 20th of April he met some Eskimos 
in Pelly Bay, from whom he received much of the 
information detailed at page 231, et seq. From these 
people he also obtained various small articles, such as 
silver spoons, forks, &c., which had undoubtedly belonged 
to the officers and men of the ill-fated ships Erebus and 
Terror ; the finding of these articles seemed to place the 
fate of our unfortunate countrymen beyond all doubt. 

Having collected as much information as could be 
elicited from these nomadic tribes, and also having pro- 
cured as many relics as could be obtained, Rae pro- 
ceeded to carry out the main object of his expedition, 
in the prosecution of which he succeeded in establishing 
the insularity of what had hitherto been called the King 




Williuiu Land of Koss. lie then returned to England 
in order to report the important information he had 
obtained to tl»e nutliorities. 

The account brought home by lliie was considered by 
the Admiralty, already lukewarm regarding the desir- 
ability of further search, conclusive evidence as to the 
inutility of any further expenditure of money, in follow- 
ing up the traces thus revealed of the missing expedi- 
tion. The discovei-y of the relics was considered by 
them, as final evidence of the fate of the entire party, 
and by paying liae the reward ofl'ered to any person who , 
should produce positive intelligence of the actual fate of 
Franklin and his followers, the Admiralty thought they 
would, finally and for ever, settle the matter of further 
search, and thus be relieved of further responsibility in 
the matter. It was therefore decided to pay Dr. Rae 
the sum of ;^ 10,000 as a reward for his discovery. 

But although the Government appeared, or pretended, 
to be satisfied, popular feeling was still clamorous for 
a continuation of the quest, until, at any rate, more 
conclusive and satisfactory evidence regarding the actual 
existence, or otherwise, of some of our countrymen could 
be ascertained. With this object in view, and in order 
to allay public feeling on the matter, the Hudson's Bay 
Company, acting under orders from the Government, 
despatched Mr. James Anderson, a chief factor in their 
employ, down the Great Fish River, for the purpose of 
communicating with the Eskimos and thus obtaining 
reliable information relative to the report brought 
home by Rae. This expedition was undertaken in the 
summer of 1855. Anderson reached Point Ogle, at the 
mouth of the river, and examined the coast and island 
in its vicinity, and though undoubted traces of the 





missing expedition were in>piuent, he failed to dis- 
cover tlie remains of any of our unfortunate country- 
men, nor did he succeed in finding tlie slightest scrap 
of paper, document, journal, or record that could throw 
any further light on the fate of those poor fellows, who 
had travelled thus far after abandoning their ships, in 
the hope — a vain one as it pioved — of obtaining succoiu* 
and relief. 

Lady Franklin, it may very justly be surmised, was 
far from satisfied at the stand taken by the Govern- 
ment at this juncture, and at the apparent apathy with 
which the Admiralty received all suggestions relative to 
further endeavours to unravel the mysterious entangle- 
ment which surrounded the fate of the lost explorers. 
She had already fitted out four ships, almost entirely 
at her own expense, which had been despatched with 
the object of discovering traces of the missing expedi- 
tion ; in spite of lltie's discoveries slie still felt that the 
work was unaccomplished, and that further efforts should 
be made to dispel the mystery in which the fate of her 
beloved husband and his brave men was still wrapped. 
Her views were warmly supported by the leading men 
of science of the day, besides all those naval officers who 
had been engaged on Arctic service, and whose opinions 
were therefore of luiquestionable value. On the 5th of 
June 1856, a memorial, signed by numerous scientific 
men and Arctic officers, was presented to Lord Palmer- 
ston, urging the necessity of further research — 

" To satisfy the honour of our country and clear up a mystery 
which has excited the sympathy of the civilised world." 

Detailed plans as to the locality to be searched and 
the prospects of success, were all clearly and succinctly 





expressed and submitted; but all to uo purpose — the 
Government hsd fully made up its mind that no further 
search, at the public expense, should be undertaken, and 
they resolved to abide by their decision. This memorial 
was followed by a letter from Lady Franklin,^ the noble- 
minded widow^ of the gallant commander of the lost 
expedition, dated December 2, 1856, and addressed, as 
the memorial, to Viscount Palmerston. In it she 
urged the necessity of continued search, pointing out 
that as the locality was now practically known, the 
area of exploration would necessarily be considerably 
limited, and she hoped, and expected, that a renewal 
of the search would, at any rate, result in obtaining 
satisfactory evidence of the actual fate of the lost expe- 

These touching appeals, affecting a country's honour 
as well as arousing its sympathy, were, however, of no 
avail ; the Government turned a deaf ear to all entreaties 
for further research, and intimated that as the reward 
for ascertaining the fate of the missing expedition had 
already been paid to Dr. Rae, they were not prepared 
to reopen the question, by the further expenditure of a 
large outlay of money, and the probable sacrifice of 
many valuable lives, in vain and, what they supposed 
to be, quixotic endeavours to obtain more definite infor- 
mation regarding the fate of Sir John Franklin and his 
lost companions. 

Under these discouraging circumstances. Lady Frank- 
lin resolved to endeavour to accomplish by private en- 
terprise, that which the Government had declined to 

1 Lady Franklin Lad also written several letters to the Admiralty 
Urging the necessity of continued search, and protesting against the 
rewaid of ;^io,cxx) being paid to Dr. Rae. 








undertake the responsibility of attempting to carry out, 
although backed by the resources of a wealthy country. 

Aided b}' private subscriptions, but principally at 
her own expense, she purchased and fitted out the 
little steam yacht Fox, of 177 tons burthen. The com- 
mand of the vessel was given to that able and most 
energetic of Arctic navigators. Captain M'Olintock, 
than whom no better man could have been selected 
for the appointment. With him were associated Lieu- 
tenant Hobson, RN., "already distinguished in Arctic 
service," and Captain Allen Young, an experienced cap- 
tain in the mercantile marine, who not only offered his 
services gratuitously, but also contributed largely from 
his private fortune towards the expenses of the expedi- 
tion. Dr. David Walker was the surgeon and naturalist. 
Provisions and stores for twenty-eight months were put 
on board, and the little vessel sailed from Aberdeen on 
the ist of July 1857. The only instructions received by 
M'Clintock were to act according to his own judgment 
in endeavouring to rescue *' any possible survivor of the 
Ero.hus and Terror^* and to leave no stone unturned in 
his exertions to recover some of the documents or records 
of the lost expedition, and, as Lady Franklin enjoined, 
" the personal relics of my dear husband and his com- 

Everything went well with the little craft and her 
gallant crew until Melville Bay, a locality that has 
proved so fatal to many a well-found whaler, was 
reached, when, in attempting to cross to the north 
water, M'Clintock was stopped by the ice in the middle 
of August, and eventually the Fox was frozen firmly 
in the pack. For 242 days was she beset, drifting 
all that long cold winter helplessly to the southward, 




until released on the 25th April 1858, after having 
been carried in her icy fetters, from latitude 75° 30' 
to 63° 30' N., a distance of 1194 geographical miles! 
It is impossible to imagine the suspense and anxiety 
passed by all on board during that fearful winter. As 
M'Clintock significantly writes, after one more than 
usually exciting day of danger — 

"After yesterday's experience 1 can understand how a 
man's hair has turned grey in a few hours." 

Immediately his ship was released, this energetic officer 
pushed northwards a second time, regretting the delay 
entailed by the besetment, but in no way daunted by 
the dangers he had encountered, and the hardships and 
anxieties he and his men had experienced. 

More fortunate this time, the little Fox succeeded in 
passing through Melville Bay, and, without much diffi- 
culty, proceeded up Lancaster Sound to Beechey Island. 
Here they erected the marble tablet sent out by Lady 
Frankjin to be set up to the memory of the lost 
crews of the Erebus and Terror, in the immediate 
neighbourhood of the place where they had passed 
their first winter. This tablet was left at God- 
haven by the American expedition, that was sent 
in search of Dr. Kane in 1855, where it was found 
and brought on by M'Clintock. It bears the following 
inscription : — 

























"And SO lie hringeth them unto the 
/faven where they loould he.'" 

Tins stone has been entrusted to be affixed in its place by the 
officers and crew of the American expedition, commanded by 
Lieutentint H. J. Hartstein, in search of Dr. Kane and his 

Thistiiblet having been left at Disco by tlio 
American cxjiedition, which vva.s uuabio 
to reach Bccchey Island, iu 1855, was ixit 
on board the Discovery yaciit Fox, ana is 
now set up hero by Captain M'Clintock, 
11. N., commanding iho final expedition of 
search for ascertaining tlio fate of Sir Jolni 
Franklin and his companions, 1858. 




On the morning of the i6th of August the little Fox 
steamed away from Beechey Island, a locality fraught 
with many interesting associations, and pushed gallantly 
on with the object of passing through Peel Strait ; but, 
in consequence of the great accumulation of unbroken 
ice in the channel, this intention was abandoned, and 
a course was steered up Prince Regent Inlet towards 
Bellot Strait. The adoption of this route appeared to 
M'Clintock to offer the best prospect of getting to the 
place which he was desirous of reaching, namely, the 
mouth of the Great Fish River and the western shore 
of King WilUam Island, for this was the locality 
indicated by the Eskimos at Pelly Bay, from whom 
the relics and information had been obtained by Dr. 
Rae five years previously, where, it was hoped, further 
intelligence would be forthcoming. 

On the 19th of August they were at Port Leopold, 
and on the following day were off Fury beach, with 
very little ice in sight ; shortly afterwards, however, 
they encountered much loose ice coming out of Brentford 
Bay. Here they had a narrow escape from destiniction, 
being beset by heavy pack ice, which carried the little 
Fox, at the rate of nearly six miles an hour, within 200 
yards of the rocks. Fortunately this particular danger 
was averted, and they succeeded in extricating their 
vessel from the pack, leaving the huge masses of ice 
to be dashed violently against each other, and carried 
wildly hither and thither, by the various whirlpools 
caused by the rapidity of the tides and currents in 
Bellot Strait. Eventually, after numerous unsuccessful 
attempts to proceed, during which she passed three times 
through the strait, only to be stopped by heavy ice held 
fast by rocks and islets situated two miles beyond its 




western outlet, the Fox was secured in winter quarters 
in Port Kennedy, at the eastern end of the strait, on 
the 28th September 1858. 

Sledging expeditions were at once undertaken for 
the purpose of exploring the country in the neighbour- 
hood of their winter quarters, and also with the object 
of laying out depots of provisions as far as possible on 
the route? to be followed during the spring, when the 
extended ti'a veiling parties would be despatched to fulfil 
the main object of the expedition, viz., to ascertain the 
fate of Franklin and those under his command. 

The winter was passed in making the necessary pre- 
parations for the arduous work of the spring and 
summer. The plan for the preliminary spring journeys 
was as follows: — Captain M'Clintock, accompanied by 
two men, with a couple of dog-sledges dragged by fifteen 
dogs, and provisioned for an absence of twenty-four 
days, was to travel towards the Magnetic Pole with 
the object of communicating with the Eskimos, who, 
it was expected, would be found in that locality, while 
Allen Young, with a dog-sledge and four men, was to ad- 
vance depots of provisions in readiness for his main jour- 
ney along the coast of Prince of Waies' Land. Hobson 
was left in charge of the Fox^ with orders to send out 
in search of these two parties, should they remain absent 
beyond the period for which they were provisioned. 

On the 17th February, the temperature at the time 
being about 40° below zero, M'Clintock and Young left 
the little Fox to carry out their allotted and self-imposed 
tasks. In spite of the intense cold, and the lameness of 
some of the dogs, and the repeated fits with which these 
animals were frequently attacked, they were able to 
accomplish an average daily distance of about fifteen 

i i 

I i 




or eighteen miles. For several days the weather was 
so severe that the mercury for their artificial horizons 
remained in a frozen state, and the rum had to be 
thawed before it could be used. On the ist of March 
M'Clintock reached the position of the Magnetic Pole, 
where he was fortunate enough to meet the Eskimos 
he was in search of. One of these men was found to be 
in possession of a naval uniform button. When ques- 
tioned regarding it, he said it had come to him from 
some white men, who had died from starvation on an 
island at the mouth of a river, and that they had ob- 
tained the iron, from whicl\ the knives in their posses- 
sion were made, from the same source. Being joined 
by the remainder of the tribe, M'Clintock was able to 
obtain by barter more relics of the lost expedition, con- 
sisting principally of silver spoons and forks belonging 
to officers of the Erebus and Terror, a silver medal the 
property of Mr. A. M 'Donald, assistant surgeon of the 
Terror, and other articles, thus setting at rest all doubts 
that might have been entertained regarding the fate of 
Franklin's unfortunate ships and their unhappy crews. 

The Eskimos on being closely interrogated denied 
having personally seen any of the white men, although 
one man acknowledged to having seen their bones on 
the island where they died. Another said that a ship 
with three masts had been crushed by the ice to the 
west of King William Island, but that all the people 
had landed in safety ; the vessel, however, sunk, so that 
nothing of value was obtained from her. The informa- 
tion thus obtained corroborated the statements made by 
the Eskimos to Dr. Eae ; it also accounted for the dis- 
appearance of one of the ships, but gave no information 
regarding the ultimate fate of the other. 

'( ■ ..•' 




Captain Sir Leopold McClintock. , ^ 

(From a pciinting by Stephen Peane in tfie possession 0/ Col. John Barrow.) 








ITaving ohtainod all tho information, and colUvtcd 
all the rclios that could he gathered from these p<H>p1f\ 
M'Clintock retinvied to tho I'ux, in order to prepare for 
tho more oxtondod and important journeys that were 
in contcniyilation. Durinij this journey, of twenty-live 
days' duration, he travelled a (listanco of 360 miles, ar.d 
added to our charts no less than 120 miles of coast liu'^ 
previously mdcnown. The mean temperature during 
tho time the sledging pHrti«>s were away, was 62° below 
freezing-point ( Pahr ). Young had also successfully 
accomplished tlio work allotted to him, having advanced 
depots of pnn i.'iitm', h>>ii:o seventy miles from the ship- 
on the coast of Prince of Wales' r«ivnd. 

On tho 2nd of April, the two prtnfipd sledging parties, 
under the ccmTn.nnf-J (A-j>e<'«j\<fly 'f <'uptain .^f■<'hniook 
and Lieutenafit HobN)ij. iift t.lie Fox. provisioiu'd for !in 
absence of alwut eiglity-four days, hjixoh party consisted 
of a sledge dragged by four men, r<eside^! a dog-slvKlgo 
and dog driver. Allen Young loft the ship tivo days 
later in search of the hhi}> supposed to have been wrockod 
on the Civnst of Prince of Wales' l^and. 

The two parties, those of ■NPClintock and Ifobson, 
travelictl together until they !'eiiche<l Capo V'ictotia on 
the aSth, whdi Uu-y ^jwirsjied,' the latter to exploi'*' 
the wetitcrn shon; of Ko g \S tili.un Island fiom Cip' 
Felix to the southward, and to make u diligi-nt soareli 
for the ships and i'ecoril<; while M'Cliutork procee<h'ti 
to examine the east const in a southerly direction. 

1 This arran<;ement wiis liiiv' to the geiiorous rcsidve of M'(?Unt«:k, 
who, knowing from liia siiriny jounuy that Inaiiklin's crew* had 
Jandeil on the west coast of Kin;^ William Island, ma^JiM.tmouBly 
sent riieutcnaiit IIobMon in that direction, foelinj; sum thi\t ihe* first 
traces of the lost expedition would i)C found thet»? ; !u^ <|id thin la 
order to ensure tiint "ffiopr's inonu'tioti, 

Ca'.tain Sir Lkoi'olp 1W>cCuntock. 

(From a />.iinti»^ by SUf^ktu I'mne in ttu ^mtmm fi/ Col. John Ba^-rotv.) 

~ 4 




Having obtained all tlie information, and collected 
all the relics that could be gathered from these people, 
M'Clintock returned to the Fox, in order to prepare for 
the more extended and important journeys that were 
in contemplation. During this journey, of twenty-live 
days' duration, he travelled a distance of 360 miles, and 
added to our charts no less than 120 miles of coast-lino 
previously unknown. The mean temperature during 
the time the sledging i)arties were away, was 62° below 
freezing-point (Fahr.). Young had also successfully 
accomplished the work allotted to him, having advanced 
depots of provisions, some seventy miles from the ship, 
on the coast of Prince of >Vales' Land. 

On the 2nd of April, the two principal sledging parties, 
under the command respectively of Captain M'Clintock 
and Lieutenant Hobson, left the Fox, provisioned for an 
absence of about eighty-four days. Each party consisted 
of a sledge dragged by four men, besides a dog-sledge 
and dog driver. Allen Young left the ship five days 
later in search of the ship supposed to have been wrecked 
on the coast of Prince of Wales' Land. 

The two parties, those of M'Clintock and Ilobson, 
travelled together until they reached Cape Victoria on 
the 28th, when they separated,^ the latter to explore 
the western shore of King William Island from Cape 
Felix to the southward, and to make a diligent search 
for the ships and records; while M'Clintock proceeded 
to examine the east coast in a southerly direction, 

1 This arrangement was due to tlie generous resolve of M'Cliutock, 
who, knowing from his spring journey that Franklin's crews had 
landed on the west coast of King William Island, magnanimously 
sent Lieutenant Hobson in that direction, feeling sure that the first 
traces of the lost expedition would be found there ; he did this in 
order to ensure that officer's promotion. 


nc.) , 




towards the Great Fish Bivor. Before separating, 
they ascertained from some Eskimos whom tliey met, 
that two vessels had been seen by the natives of King 
William Island ; that one had been crushed by the 
ice and sunk in deep water, and that the other had 
been forced on shore, and was much injured. In the 
latter ship was found the body of a tall man, who was 
reported to have had long teeth. ^ 

The Eskimos are unable to comprehend or realise 
intervals of time, but it was supposed that these vessels 
had been seen by them some years ago, and in the fall 
of the year, i.e., August or September. M'Clintock was 
further informed that a number of white men from 
these ships were seen journeying with a boat, or boats, 
in the direction of the Great Fish Biver, at the mouth 
of which their bones were, it was said, found the fol- 
lowing winter. This was all the information they were 
able to obtain from the natives, but it was of a most 
important nature, for it informed them that the exist- 
ence of the missing ships was actually known to the 
Eskimos; that one had disappeared under the ice, and 
that the other had been stranded ; it was therefore safe 
to infer, with regard to the latter ship, that it was 
within the bounds of possibility to discover the locality 
in which she had been wrecked, in which case they 
might perhaps find some important records or docu- 
ments relating to the expedition. 

On the 8th of May M'Clintock reached King William 
Island, and visited a snow village in which he found 
some thirty or forty inhabitants. From these people he 

1 This appearance of "long teeth "is supposed to be attributable 
to the disease of which the unfortunate man had probably died, i.e., 




purchased several pieces of silver plate, on which the ini- 
tials, or crests, of Sir John Franklin, Captain Crozier, 
Lieutenant Fairholnio, and Dr. M'Donald were engraved, 
besides other articles that had undoubtedly been ob- 
tained from the missing expedition. Tho silver forks and 
spoons were readily exchanged for a few needles. 

The natives informed M'Clintock that the wrtick of 
one of the ships was about iivo days' journey from thera, 
on the west coast of King William Island, but that 
little remained of it, as everything of use had been 
appropriated and carried off by their countrymen. No 
books, documents, or printed matter had been saved, 
they said, from the wreck, but had all, long ago, been 
destroyed by exposure to the weather. They further 
said that — 

" Tliu white niou dro[iped by the way, as tliey went to the 
Great Jliver ; that some were buried, and Koiiie were not." ^ 

No satisfactory approximation of the numbers of the 
white men, or the interval of time tliat had elapsed since 
they died, could be ascertained. 

Pushing onwards, Point Ogle was reached on the 1 2th 
of May, and the same night the party camped on the 
ice at the entrance of the Great Fish River. Montreal 
Island was subsequently carefully examined, but with 
barren results, for there was a total absence of all 
relics, and no vestige of a cairn could be found, or any 
indications that our missing countrymen had even visited 
the island. It must, however, be remembered that the 
country had not then emerged from its wintry garb of 
snow. On the i8th M'Clintock crossed over to the 
mainland in the neighbourhood of Point Duncan, and on 

1 Voyage of the Fox, by Sir Leopold M'Cliutock. 






the following day commenced his return journey. He- 
crossing the strait to King William Island, the southern 
shore was examined, but without finding any traces of 
those whom they were seeking, neither did they find any 
signs of the wreck spoken of by the natives, until they 
reached the vicinity of Cape Ilerschel, when, shortly 
after midnight on the 25th of May, MClintock suddenly 
came upon a human skeleton lying face downwards, on 
the crest of a ridge, with its head towards the Great 
Fish lliver. The bones were bleached perfectly white. 
It was supposed to be the remains of a young man, aiid 
from the dress, was thought to be a steward, or officer's 
servant. M'Cliutock was under the impression that the 
poor fellow had selected the bare ridge top as offering 
the easiest road for walking, and to have fallen on his 
face and died in the position in which his lemains were 
found. Although diligent search was made, no records, 
or other relics, could be found, until a spot about twelve 
miles from Cape Ilerschel was reached, when a small 
cairn that had been constructed by Ilobson was dis- 
co\'ered, in which was found a note fiom that officer 
addressed to M'Clintock, containing the important and 
interesting revelation, an account of which has already 
been given in a previous chapter, namely, the discovery 
of the only known record left by the survivors of the 
Erebus and Terror, that :ells us the sad mouinful his- 
tory of the missing expedition. 

This touching but interesting document, a reduced 
fac-simile of which is here produced, was found by 
Lieutenant Ilobson at Point Victory, on the north-west 
coast of King William Island. The important and ex- 
citing news it communicated was written round the 
margin of a printed form, usually supplied to ships with 



It to Ihe Secretary nl : i .>^ 

Whoever finds this paper is retjuostf d to forvard it to llie secretary ,.. . . 
•he Admiraltj', Londun, wth a noU <^' tke timf and ylace otwkteit tt u\tS ^V^ 
faund: or, if more convtmient. to deliver it (or that purpose U> the Priluh ••J^ ^ 1^ J 
Cunsul at the nearest Port. i >j ."S< 

Qi'lHCONQlTE trouvB^^^UN«r^«st pji^ ify iiwrquiT Ic linns et liru ou - ^ \^| 
il lauratrouv-e', et de leSHu^^enirau phitot &u Secretaire JerAmiraatt^^ ^-^^ 
BnUnnique a Londnaa,^^^ / J <; <?4 ,^^ 

CuALQi'tERAquehallareestePjpcl.K leSupl\rado(^viarloa]Secretanlg i j/ii 

del Almirautazi^k en [jondres, con uiia (tota del tiemfo y del lugsi 
dcnde se hallo. 

Cen ieder die dit F^jMHH^^Ab, wordt hiermedc vrrzogl, am Im^ 

Ive. itn st)ordie^t^ii«H^|B^M|^<icin den (((•er Minister van ilkf , L N ' 

ilie der ^<'dd4H|^^^^^|H|f^Hft of wrl aaii den SemeUris drO .,^-^ %f\ 

sehe AdmJralitn|m||^^^m^K|i|war l>y le \tipg«n eene N,.<ta^- _^7 --\^ . ' v 

oiulende de tj'd ^^^^HHHHfnf^'- P^>cr >* ^evonden gcworiJeii^ ^^ /^ w 

FiMDBRBN af dett« l^PIPIHRSaa, n»ar Leilighed gi'vw. At sriide i >^ T 
Minnie tj| Admiralitets Socretairen i Loiulon, eller niTrm«te Kinbcdsinand y ' j""* 
i Danmark, Norgie, ellsr Sverrig. Tiden og St^sdit luijr dette er fundol ''^ Jvis! 

on\)ie» venskabeli^ paat( 

^VkR die«eii Zettel 
tiiir fj»s Almtralii 
lien ort und 



Il prsucht dcnselbeh ati ikn 

iden, mit gefiilliger ant^alw , y. 

let vtrordon ist. ' J j j i 


Jicproducjci/rom " Thr \anative of the Dittcovcnj of the Fate of Sir John Frank- 
liii," by kind 2>enni)isivn of Mr. John Murray. 

To face pay e 270.] ] 




the object of being enclosed in bottles and thrown over- 
board in various localities, for the purpose of ascertain- 
ing the set and general drift of oceanic currents. They 
are generally called "bottle- papers," and are printed in 
six different languages, each conveying a request that 
any person finding the paper will forward it to the 
Secretary of the Admiralty, noting the date and place 
at which it was picked up. The marginal notations that 
revealed the sad fate of the expedition, were written 
and signed by Captains Orozier and Fitzjames ; the 
greater part of it being iu the handwriting of the latter 
officer. This document had originally been deposited in 
the cairn by Lieutenant Graham Gore in the spring 
of 1847, when all was well with the expedition, and 
when they had every prosj)ect of bringing their labours 
to a successful termination. One short year had altered 
all these bright and hopeful anticipations — twelve brief 
months from the time the first few lines were penned on 
this precious document, were sufficient to effect a change 
in their joyous aspirations, and to reduce the party 
from a band of eager and expectant explorers, buoyed 
up by a feeling, almost amounting to a certainty, of 
shortly accomplishing the great work they had set them- 
selves to achieve, to a throng of struggling, half-famished 
men, fighting the great battle of life, with disease, starva- 
tion, and death staring them in the face. 

Having made a careful and thorough, but unsuccessful, 
search in the neighbourhood for records, journals, or other 
relics of the lost expedition, M'Clintock pushed onwards, 
and on the 29th of May reached the west extreme of 
King William Island, which he named Cape Crozier, 
after the leader of that ill-fated band of men, to ascer- 
tain whose fate he was evincing such extraordinary 




exertions. From this point of land the coast-line trended 
somewhat abruptly to the north- eastward, and early on 
the following morning they pitched their tent alongside 
a large boat, another melancholy relic of the lost ships, 
mounted on a heavily constructed sledge. Deeply inte- 
resting as was this discovery, it was rendered still more 
so by the fact that the boat contained the portions of 
two human skeletons. One was that of a slightly built 
young man ; the other was apparently a large, power- 
fully built person of middle age, and was supposed to 
be that of an officer. In the boat was also found a 
number of books, chiefly of a scriptural or devotional 
character, five watches, a couple of double-barrelled 
gims (one barrel in each being loaded and at full 
cock), besides numerous other articles of various descrip- 
tions, principally clothing. A little tea and chocolate 
were all the provisions that could be found, thus 
almost establishing the fact that the poor fellows had 
succumbed to starvation, and perhaps when in the very 
act of protecting themselves from an attack by polar 
bears, or other wild animals, for their guns were by 
their side and ready for instant use ; indeed the appear- 
ances suggest that either for the supply of food, or for 
their own protection, they had been already driven to 
the necessity of having recourse to their firearms, as 
one barrel from each gun had been, apparently, dis- 

There is little more to relate regarding the last 
moments of our unfortunate countrymen. The remark- 
able absence of all records, journals, log-books, or other 
documentary evidence, surrounds their fate with a myste- 
rious halo which it is impossible to clear away, and is 
difficult even to penetrate. All must therefore be left 







to conjecture, and we can only surmise that the unhappy 
members of the lost expedition, fell victims to sickness 
and starvation before they had succeeded in getting 
many miles from their ships ; as a matter of fact, the 
boat, with the gha.scly remains of its crew, was found 
only sixty-five miles from the position of the Krehm and 
Terror when they were abandoned, although seventy miles 
from the place where the first skeleton was discovered. 

Having collected all the most interesting and port- 
able relics^ they could obtain, but having failed in 
finding traces of the two vessels, M'Clintock returned 
to the little Fox^ which he reached on the 1 9th of June. 
Hobson had arrived five days before, and Allen Young 
returned some eight days later, having successfully deter- 
mined the insularity of Prince of Wales' Land. Both 
these officers had made wonderful journeys, in the face of 
unparalleled hardships and difficulties. 

The amount of new coast-line discovered during the 
spring journeys by M'Clintock and Hobson was nearly 
420 miles, while that explored by Young was 380 miles, 
making a total, altogether, of 800 geographical miles of 
entirely new coast-line to be added to our charts. On 
the loth of August the Far, having been liberated from 
her icy bonds, steamed out of Brentford Bay, and with- 
out any further event worthy of particular notice, reached 
London on the 23rd of September, when the important 
and interesting nature of the discoveries was made gener- 
ally known. 

* Among the relics found and brought home was a sextant belong- 
ing to Frederick Hornby, who was a mate in the Terror. This was in 
after years presented by his brother. Admiral Wyndham Hornby, 
to Lieutenant Wyatt Rawson, R.N., who served as a lieutenant in 
the Discovery in the Arctic expedition of 1875-6, This gallant and 
promising oflScer was mortally wounded while leading the British 
army to the attack at the battle of Tel-cl-Kebir. 


Hi If, i 

'i ' ^ 






Thus ended this last and most successful of all the 
numerous expeditions that had been despatched, with 
the object of ascertaining the fate of Sir John Franklin 
and his brave companions. Its success was duo to the 
untiring energy, the ability, and skill displayed by 
M'Clintock and his officers and crew, and to the fact 
that he had decided to search in the right direction, and 
not proceed on a quest without any definite information 
to guide him, as was the case in the expeditions that had 
preceded him. A large share of the success is also due 
to the devotion and persistence of Lady Franklin, and 
the unselfish spirit that formed one of the chief char- 
acteristics of her heroic nature. 

M'Clintock's discoveries revealed the fact, as an 
eminent author ^ has expressed it — 

" That to Sir John Franklin is due the priority of discovery 
of the iioith-west passage — that last link, to forge which he 
sacrificed his life." 

Valuable geographical information was also the result 
of this remarkable voyage. The existence of Bellot 
Strait was confirmed. The shores of King William 
Island were thoroughly explored, as well as the west 
coast of Boothia, whilst the insularity of Prince of 
Wales' Land was definitely established, besides the 
existence of a channel, a continuation of Peel Sound, 
leading down to Bellot Strait. Thus, it will be seen 
that much good and useful geographical work was 
accomplished by this expedition. This was fully recog- 
nised by the Government; ;^5ooo was voted to Captain 
M'Clintock and his officers and men, while ;,^2ooo was 

1 John Brown, in his "North-west Passiige nud the Search for Sir 
John Franklin." 

; V . ^. 



!e of 
|o was 

given for the erection of a monument in Waterloo Place 
to the memory of Sir John Franklin. Engraven on the 
pedestal of this monument is the following inscription : — 







A.D. 1847-48 


Her Majesty was also pleased to confer on Captain 
M'Clintock the honour of knighthood. The freedom 
of the City of London was likewise conferred on him, 
whilst honorary degrees were bestowed upon him by 
the different universities of England and Ireland. 
The Patron's Gold Medal of the Royal Geographical 
Society was subsequently awarded him — 

"For his unflinching fortitude and skill, by which the 
precious Record, unveiling the fate of Sir John Franklin 
and the abandonment of the Erebus and Terror^ was recovered, 
and for his geographical discoveries." 

while at the same time the Founder's Medal was 
happily, and with exceptional favour, awarded by the 
Royal Geographical Society to Lady Franklin — 

" In token of their admiration of her devoted conduct in 
persevering until the fate of her husband was finally ascer- 

for Sir 

The devoted and heroic Avidow, the fit consort of the 





equally devoted and heroic Franklin, died in 1875, at 
the age of eighty-three years. One of her last works, 
if not the very last, in connection with her husband's 
meraory, was the erection of a marble monument of 


Sir John Franklin in Westminster Abbey. It was 
unveiled only a fortnight after her death. It was her 
great wish to write the epitaph herself, but dying 
before this was accomplished, it was written by Alfred 








Tennyson, who was a nephew of Sir John by maiTiago. 
It is as follows : — 

" Not here ! the white North hath thy bones, and tliou 
Heroic Sailor Soul ! 
Art passing on thy happier voyage now 
Towards no earthly pole." 

The late Dean Stanley added a note to this, to the 
elVeet that the monument was " erected by his widow, 
who, after long waiting and sending many in search of 
him, henself departed to seek and to find him in the 
realms of light, i8th July 1875, ^S^^^ eighty-three years." 

A statue of Sir John Franklin was also erected in the 
open market-place of his native town, Spilsby. 

Sir John Franklin, it may be mentioned, was pro- 
moted to the rank of rear-admiral, in his regular place 
of seniority on the Navy List on the 26th October 1852, 
somewhat over five years after his death. His name 
was not removed from the Navy List until the exact 
date of his death had been ascertained by the dis- 
covery of the record by M'Clintock. 

In the year 1846 he was elected a correspondent of 
the Palis Academy of Sciences, 


i » 



1 860- 1 884. 

" The bodies and the bones of tliose 
Who strove in other days to pass, 
Lie withered in the thorny close, 

Or blanched and blown about the grass." 

— Slccpiny Beauty. 

Since the return of Sir Leopold M'Clintock in 1859, 
various expeditions, under different flags, sought to pene- 
trate the icy solitudes of the north, in furtherance of 
geographical discovery, and in the elucidation of inte- 
resting questions appertaining to various branches of 
science. These were all more or less successful, while 
several penetrated far into the unknown area. 

In i860, Dr. Hayes, who had won his spurs as an 
Arctic explorer under Dr. Kane, in the Advance in 1853 
and two following years, sailed from Boston in a schooner 
of 133 tons, named the Ujiited States, with the object of 
continuing the line of exploration up Smith Sound fol- 
lowed by Dr. Kane. Without any event deserving of 






ice of 


les of 


las an 


iect of 
id foi- 
ling of 

special notice, he reached the entrance to Smith Sound, 
when his further progress in a nortlierly direction was 
stopped by ice. Being unable to push on, he secured 
his ship in winter quarters in latitude 78° 18', just 
inside Cape Alexander, and about twenty miles south of 
the position in which Kane had passed his two winters. 
In the spring of the following year sledging parties 
were despatclied to examine the west side of the channel 
in a northerly direction. The highest latitude stated 
to have been reached was 81° 35'. Animal life was 
abundant in the vicinity of their winter quarters, and 
no difficulty was experienced in procuring a constant 
supply of fresh animal food. The United States returned 
to Boston in October 1861. 

The Swedes, under Professor Nordenskiold, sent seve- 
ral expeditions to Spitzbergen between the years 1858 
and 1872, for the purpose of scientific research, and more 
particularly with the object of making inve.stigations with 
a view to future operations connected with the measure- 
ment of an arc of the meridian. In the course of these 
tentative voyages they succeeded in rounding Cape 
Platen, to the east of the Seven Islands, a point further 
to the eastward along the northern coast of Spitzbergen, 
than had ever before been reached. In September 1868 
they attained in an iron steamer, named the Sophie, 
the latitude of 81° 42', on the i8th meridian of east 

Mr. Leigh Smith, an energetic and enthusiastic Arctic 
yachtsman, also on several occasions made very successful 
and interesting expeditions to Spitzbergen and adjacent 
seas; his observations and discoveries had the effect 
of considerably altering the hitherto assumed shape of 
North- East Land. 


'•ri^>ii<ir,v>'' I iiiiu.'" \nwi. 




t J 


In 1869, the Germans, with praiseworthy zeal, fitted 
out an expedition, consisting of the Geiina7ua, a steamer 
of 140 tons, and a small brig called the Ilansa, with the 
object of exploring the north-east coast of Greenland. 
As scientific investigation was to form a special feature 
of the work to be carried out, several scientific gentle- 
men formed jyart of the personnel of the expedition. 
The ships were; under the command of Captain Karl 
Koldewey, who wjis in the Gerinania, Captain Hege- 
mann being the commander of the llama. They sailed 
from Bremen in June, provisioned for a contemplated 
absence of two years. 

Shortly after reaching the Gieenland coast, in latitude 
70° 46', the ships were unavoidably separated, and on 
the 22nd October the little Hansa was unfortunately 
crushed by the heavy ice fioes by which she was 
encompassed. With materials saved from the wreck 
the crew succeeded in constructing a shelter for them- 
selves on the floe, in which wretched abode the winter 
was passed, not, however, without considerable anxiety 
and excitement, for towards the end of the year the floe 
cracked right across, thus effectually causing the ruin of 
their somewhat fragile and insecure domicile; another 
one was however improvised from the remains of the 
materials saved. Finally, in June 1870, having drifted 
in a general southerly direction a distance of 11 00 miles 
on their extremely precarious raft, the dimensions of 
which were, day by day, being gradually reduced by the 
melting of the ice, until it was only 300 feet in breadth, 
they succeeded in launching their boats, which had pro- 
videntially been saved, an(? were thus able to reach the 
little Danish settlement of Friedrikshal, in the vicinity 
of Cape Farewell; here they were well taken care of 



by the hospitable Dunes, and eventually sent home in 
the annual vessel trading between the Greenland ports 
and Denmark. 

Meanwhiki the Gcrmafiia, by the aid of her stoam- 
power, Rucceeded in reaching the latitude of 75" 30', 
when her further in a northerly direction was 
checked by heavy ice, and she was compelled to retrace 
her steps to the southwai-d until the Pendulum Islands 
were reached, where the ship was made snug for the 
winter. Sledging parties were despatched during the 
ensuing spring, which reached the 77th parallel, the 
highest latitude on the east coast of Greenland that has 
ever been attained. The most northern point was 
named Cape Bismarck. On being released from their 
winter quarters, exploration was carried out in a south- 
erly direction along the coast, and the Germanla eventu- 
ally returned to Bremen in September 1870. The i-esult 
of this expedition was to finally set at rest any hope that 
might have existed of attaining a high latitude along the 
east coast of Greenland, for the ice encountered was of 
such a heavy nature as to utterly preclude the possibility 
of navigating a ship through it. 

In 1871, Captain C. F. Hall, a native of Cincinnati, 
sailed from New York in an old steam gunboat, which 
had been handed over to him by the Navy Depart- 
ment, and renamed the Polaris. His object was to 
reach the North Pole by way of Smith Sound. Dr. 
Emil Bessels, a German professor of great ability and 
scientific attainments, accompanied the expedition as 
chief of the scientific staff, while Moreton, who served 
with Kane in 1853, and Hans the Eskimo, who was with 
both Kane and Hayes, were also on board. 

Captain Hall, it should here be observed, had always 





been firmly impressed witli the practicability of obtain- 
ing more complete and fuller details relative to the fate 
of Franklin's expedition than were brought home by 
M'Clintock. With the object of throwing more light on 
this interesting subject, he had voluntarily passed five 
years with the Eskimos on the north side of Hudson's 
Strait, for the express purpose of habituating himself to 
their mode of life, and acclimatising himself to the 
severity and hardships incidental to an Arctic winter, 
so that he might be the better fitted to prosecute his 
researches for the missing expedition. Having this in 
view, he was landed in 1 864 from a whale ship near the 
south entrance of Sir Thomas Rowe's Welcome in the 
north part of Hudson's Bay, with only two Eskimo 
companions, and a boat laden with stores and pro- 
visions. For the succeeding five years this enthusiastic 
explorer lived entirely with the Eskimos, with whom 
he cultivated friendly relations. During this time he 
visited and explored Hecla and Fury Strait, and eventu- 
ally reached the south-eastern shore of King William 
Island, where he obtained some relics of the Franklin 
expedition, but was unsuccessful, as others had been 
before him, in his efforts to find any of the documents or 
journals belonging to the missing ships. The evidence 
that he obtained from the natives, simply confirmed the 
statements brought home by Rae and M'Clintock, but 
threw no further light on the ultimate fate of the officers 
and men who had abandoned the Erehus and Terror. 
He returned to New York in 1869. 

Proceeding up Smith Sound, the Polaris encountered 
but little obstruction from the ice, which was unusually 
loose and open, and Hall h,ad the extreme satisfaction 
of carrying his ship to a higher northern latitude than 




had ever been reached by any previous vessel, viz., 82° 16'. 
Having attained this unprecedented success, his diffi- 
culties commenced, for his ship was almost immediately 
beset by heavy ice, in which he was carried some dis- 
tance to the southward. She was, however, in a few 
days extricated from her somewhat critical position in 
the pack, and was eventually secured in winter quarters 
on the east side of the channel, in a harbour protected at 
its entrance by a grounded iceberg, which was appropri- 
ately named Providence Berg, while the harbour itself 
was called Thank God Bay. This was in latitude 81° 38'. 
In the monch of October Captain Hall started off 
on a reconnoiterivig expedition with a dog-sledge. He 
was av.ay for a few days only, and was taken ill almost 
immediately after his return ; he died on the 8th of 
November. The loss of Captain Hall was a death-blow 
to the enterprise. The command devolved on the sailing- 
master, an old whaling skipper, quite unfitted for the 
conduct of such a service. Dissensions cropped up 
amongst officers and men, and it was consequently 
decided to return to the United States directly the 
ship was released. But little exploring work, as may 
be imagined, was effected 





although the ship was liberated in June, it was not until 
August that the homeward journey was commenced. 
The conditions of the ice, however, in Robeson Channel 
were vastly different to what they had experienced the 
preceding year, for shortly after their departure from 
Thank God Bay, the Polaris was beset in the pack, in 
which she drifted helplessly down Smith Sound into 
Baffin's Bay. On the 15th of October thej- encountered 
a violent gale from the south-east, veeiing to south, and 
finally settling down at south-west. After many and 

Hi I 




severe buffetings, the already sorely-crippled ship was 
seriously squeezed between two heavy masses of ice, 
which, raising the vessel bodily, threw her over on her 
port side. Her timbers, from the violent pressure to 
which she was subjected, cracked with loud reports, and 
her sides seemed to be breaking in. In this critical 
situation, when, pei'haps, the destruction of their ship was 
but the matter of a few moments, the necessary arrange- 
ments were made for her immediate abandonment. Pro- 
visions and stores were hastily thrown on the ice ; coal, 
provisions, clothing, and stores of every kind that were 
accessible, were hurriedly passed out of the ship, and 
placed as near as possible in the centre of the largest 
floe to which they were attached, while a couple of boats, 
fortunately, as it turned out, were also lowered and hauled 
up to a place of safety on the ice. 

Suddenly, in the inky darkness of the night, the 
ship broke from the floe to which she had been secured, 
and driving before the raging gale, was, in a moment, 
in the wild commotion of the elements and the blinding 
snowstorm with which they were assailed, lost to sight 
to those of their companions who were receiving and 
stowing the stores and provisions on the ice. The party 
thus left in this unenviable situation consisted of Cap- 
tain Tyson (the assistant navigator), and nine men 
belonging to the Polaris, besides nine Eskimos, including 
three women and a baby. Fortunately, in consequence 
of the prompt measures taken to pass the provisions out 
of the ship, they were in no immediate want of food, 
and their supply was subsequently supplemented by bears 
and seals that were occasionally shot by the Eskimo 
hunters. To the skill, energy, and success of the two 
Eskimos, Joe and Hans, the entire party owed their lives. 



Without them they would all, undoubtedly, have perished 
from starvation. Seeing that there was but little hope 
of being rescued by the Pularis, of whose position, or 
even safety, they were ignorant, they proceeded to con- 
struct a house from materials that had been thrown out 
from the ship, in order to afford them some protection 
and shelter from the inclemency of the coming winter. 
Several snow-houses were also erected. The piece of ice 
on which they were encamped, and on which the entire 
party passed the winter, was about loo yards in length, 
and 75 yards broad. On this they drifted down, all that 
long interminable winter, past Baffin's Bay and Davis' 
Strait, the floe gradually crumbling away and reducing 
in size as it drifted south, until on the ist of April the 
party were compelled to take to their remaining boat, 
for the second one had long since been utilised for fuel. 
They were eventually picked up by the English sealer 
Tifjress, off the coast of Labrador, in latitude 53° 35', on 
the 3otli of April 1873, having drifted on their preca- 
rious raft a distance of no less than 1500 miles during 
the 196 days since thoy were separated from their ship. 

Let us now return to the Polaris, which wo left being 
driven helplessly and rapidly, on the breaking up of the 
pack, in an easterly direction by the violence of the gale ; 
those on board were quite unable to do anything to suc- 
cour their companions who wore so suddenly and so 
unexpectedly cast away on tho ice, nor were they in a 
position to take any immediate steps to afford them 
relief, in consequence of stoam not being ready, the 
murky darkness that prevailed, and the speed with whicli 
the ship was driven by the wind. Their boats also were 
with the party left on t'..e floe. 

On the following morning, the Polaris, being in a leaky 




and shattered contlition, was run on shore in Lifeboat 
Cove, Lyttleton Island, on the east side of the entrance 
to Smith Sound; and here, with the assistance of the 
Etah Eskimos, who provided them with fresh food in the 
shape of seals and reindeer, they passed a comparatively 
pleasant winter, in a house which was erected in the 
vicinity of the wreck. Tlie winter months were occupied 
in constructing a couple of boats ; in these the party em- 
barked on the 3rd of June, with the intention of reaching 
one of the Danish settlements on the west coast of Green- 
land; they were, however, rescued on the 21st of the 
same month by the Dundee whaler Ravenscraig in Mel- 
ville Bay. They were subsequently transferred to the 
whaler Arctic, Captain Adams, in which ship they were 
eventually taken to Dundee, and thence sent across to 
New York. 

The success attending this expedition was very remark- 
able and quite unprecedented ; it clearly demonstrated 
how very variable are the conditions of the ice in certain 
parts of the Arctic regions, and how much may, and can, 
be accomplished in what is termed a favourable ice year. 
In the short space of five days the Polaris succeeded in 
accomplishing a distance of five hundred miles through 
what had always boon, and is still, considered an ice- 
choked sea, viz., from Cape Shackleton to the highest 
northern position she attained. But in twelve brief 
months everything was changed, for on her return to the 
southward the following year she was helplessly beset 
by heavy masses of 'le, in those same channels that had 
the previous year been comparatively free and navi- 
gable, and she drifted down into Baffin's Bay at the 
average rate of about two knots an hour. The scientific 
resrUts of this expedition were exceedingly valuable, 


although much important data, together with the greater 
part of the natural history collections, were unavoidably 
and unfortunately lost. 

The next expedition of geographical importance was 
the Austro-Hungarian one, under the joint command 
of Captain Weyprecht of the Austrian navy, and Lieu- 
tenant Julius Payer, a military officer. The first-named 
officer was in command of the ship, and was, of course, 
solely responsible for its navigation and for all explora- 
tion by sea ; but to Payer was entrusted the organisation 
and the conduct of all .sledging and travelling parties on 
shore. These officers had made a preliminary summer 
cruise in the waters it was intended to explore, in a little 
sloop called the Ishjorn, for the purpose of ascertaining 
the position and condition of the ice. Payer had also 
served in the German expedition under Koldewey.^ The 
leaders were therefore not altogether unfamiliar with ice 
navigation. The main object of the enterprise was the 
achievement of the north-east passage, which they hoped 
to accomplish, by sailing round the northern extreme of 
Novaya Zemlya, and thence along the Siberian coast to 
Bering's Strait, The Tefjettliojf, a steamer of three hun- 
dred tons burthen, was especially built for the purpose, 
and everything being ready, she sailed from Bremerhaven 
on the 13th June 1872. On the 29th of the following 
month the Tegetthoff was beset by the ice off the west 
coast of Novaya Zenilyji, from whicli bosetment she was 
with some difficulty extricated ; but on the 23rd of 
August she was again beset off the same coast, and in 
spite of the powerful aid of steam, assisted by gunpowder, 
and the unremitting exertions of the officers and men, the 
unfortunate ship was held fast by the ice, never ng.tin to be 

' See p. 280, ante. 


I ■ ii' 




released. In this helpless condition she drifted about at 
the mercy of the winds and currents of the Polar regions 
for two long years. On the 31st August 1873 a mys- 
terious unknown land was suddenly observed, looming 
up in the far distance to the northward, to which they 
gave the name of Franz Josef Land, thus becoming the 
disc^ verers, although unwittingly, of a new and im- 
portant tract of country whose existence was hitherto 
unknown. Payer thus alludes to the discovery : — 


"Abo it midday, as we were leaning on the bulwarks of the 
.^. Uiivl canning the gliding mists, through which the rays 
of tli€ • -ke ever and anon, a wall of mist, lifting itself up 
suddenly, iovealed to us afar off in the north-west, the out- 
liiu's "»f bold roc-k?!, which in a few minutes seemed to grow 
into a radl ^X a.'[ i>K^ land ! At first we all stood transfixed 
and hardly believing v. liat we saw. Then carried away by 
the reality of our good fortune, we burst forth into shouts of 
joy : — Land, land, land at last ! There was not a sick man 
on board the Tegeithoff/ Tlie news of the discovery spread 
in an instant. Every one rushed on deck to convince him- 
self with his own eyes, that the expedition w as not after all 
a failure — there befoie us lay tho prizt that could not be 
snatched from us. . . . For thousands of years this land had 
lain buried from the knowledge of men, and now its dis- 
covery had fallen into the lap of a small band, themselves 
almost lost to the world who, far from their home, remem- 
bered the homage due to tlieir sovereign, and gave to the newly 
discovered territory the name of Kaiser Franz Josef's Land. 
With loud hurrahs we drank to the health of our Emperor 
in grog hastily made on deck in an iron coffee-pot, and then 
di-essed the Tegetthoff y;\i\\ flags." 

Strenuous efforts wero made to extricate the ship from 
her icy thraldom during the summer and autumn of 
1873, but these proving futile, a second winter, if pos- 
sible more cheerless and wretched than the first, had to 




be endured. The general drift of the ship during the 
time of their besetment was governed, it was supposed, 
by the prevailing winds, and was not, it was thought, 
due so much to tide or current. This drift was in a 
general northerly direction. The position of the ship 
when she was first beset on the 21st August 1872 was 
latitude 76° 22', and longitude 62° 3' E. On the ist of 
January 1873 she was in latitude 78° 37', and longitude 
66° 56'. On the ist February her position was 78' 45' N. 
latitude, and 73° 7' E. longitude, thus showing that she 
had been carried steadily during the period named in a 
north-easterly direction. From the last-mentioned date 
until the ist of November, when the ship became station- 
ary in consequence of the attachment of the ice in which 
she was beset to the land, her drift was in a north and 
north-westerly direction. Her positions on the under- 
mentioned dates were as shown in the following table : 


66° 49' E. 

64 58 
62 43 

59 14 

60 40 
60 33 
60 41 
58 56 

The important and unexpected discovery of Franz 
Josef Land, very naturally instilled fresh hopes in the 
hearts of the explorers ; but, in spite of their apparent 
proximity to the land, they were, much to their chagrin 
and disappointment, unable to reach the shores of this 
newly found territory, in consequence of the fissures in 
the ice that lay between them and the coast, and the fact 



April I 79° 5'N. 

May I . . 

79 15 

June I . . . 

79 2 

July I . . 

. 79 15 

August I . 

78 56 

September i 

. 79 40 

October i . 

79 58 

November i 

. 79 51 




I ' ; 

that the ship was still drifting at the mercy of the winds, 
in varying directions which they were unable accurately 
to determine ; her position, therefore, would be uncer- 
tain, and perhaps difficult, or even impossible, to reach 
on the return of any exploring parties that might be 
rash enough to leave her for an extended trip. Daring 
the month of October, however, the Tegetthoff was carried 
to within three miles of an island, situated near to the 
mainland ; this island was, as may readily be imagined, 
visited by nearly all the crew. Its position was in lati- 
tude 79° 54'. Payer writes of it : — 

" An island more desolate than that which we had reached 
can hardly be imagined, for snow and ice covered its frozen 
debris-covered slopes." 

From this date the ship remained immovable, firmly 
frozen into its icy bed, which was held stationary by 
grounded icebergs. Numerous bears visited the ship 
during the winter, and not unnaturally paid the pen- 
alty of their temerity and inquisitiveness, their flesh 
affording a welcome change to the diet which those on 
board had for so long been accustomed to. No less 
than sixty-seven of these animals were killed at various 
times by members of the expedition, producing about 
12,000 lbs. of fresl. meat. Several seals were also 

Of course their prospects of release formed the sub- 
ject of much anxious discussion during the winter. The 
apparently hopeless chance of extricating the ship being 
generally acknowledged, it was resolved to abandon her 
in the ensuing summer, and endeavour to return to 
Europe with the combined aid of boats and sledges. 
Before, however, the season was sufficiently advanced 









it be 



;o the 


a. lati- 



ry by 
e ship 
e pen- 
lose on 

o less 

re also 

to make a start, it was decided to attempt, as far as 
possible, the exploration of the unknown land to which 
they had been so mysteriously carried. 

With this object in view, Payer, with half a dozen 
men, left the ship for a preliminary sledge journey on 
the loth of March, taking with him three dogs to assist 
in dragging the sledge. Travelling in a north-westerly 
direction, they skirted the coast of Hall Island and 
ascended Capes Tegetthoff and M'Clintock, the latter 
being some 2500 feet in height. These ascents were 
expressly made for the purpose of ascertaining the general 
trend of the land and its physical aspects, so as to facili- 
tate the larger and more important work of exploration 
which, it was designed, should be undertaken at a later 
period. On the journey they experienced great cold, 
the thermometer on one occasion falling as low as -58° 
Fahr. They returned to the ship, on the i6th, fully 
satisfied with the result of their researches. 

Eight days after his return Payer started on his 
extended journey to the northward, accompanied, as 
before, by six men and three dogs. Passing up Austria 
Sound, between Zichy and Wilczek Lands, the travellers 
reached their highest latitude, in what was named Crown 
Prince Rudolff Land, in latitude 82° 5', about 160 miles 
from the position in which they had left their ship. The 
coast along which they travelled was intersected by 
numerous fiords, and fringed by numberless islands. 
The geological features of the land appeared to coincide 
with those of north-east Greenland, some of the hills 
rising to an altitude of 3000 feet. The valleys between 
the mountain ranges were filled with large glaciers. A 
peculiar feature connected with this neighbourhood 
was that the low islands in Austria Sound were covered 








I I 

i : 

■ < ■ 

with a glacial cap. Vegetation was poor and insignifi- 
cant, but it must be remembered that the country was 
wearing its wintry garb of snow at the time the ex- 
plorers were travelling. Cape Fligely, the most northern 
point, was reached on the 1 2 th of April ; even at this 
early period of the year a large water space was seen, in 
which the explorers could undoubtedly have gone some 
miles further to the northward, had they been provided 
with a boat. The furthest land seen to the north was 
called Petermann Land, and this was estimated to be 
beyond the 83rd parallel of north latitude. Having 
planted the Austro-Hungarian flag at the highest point 
reached, the homeward march was commenced, and on 
the 24th of April they arrived alongside their ship, safe 
and sound, after a toilsome and arduous journey. On 
the 20th of the following month the colours were nailed 
to the mast, the good ship that had been their home for 
two years was then abandoned, and they started on their 
long journey to Europe, carrying with them provisions 
for three or four months packed in four boats which 
were mounted on sledges. So heavy were the weights 
to be dragged, and so rough was the ice and so deep 
the snow over which they travelled, that after incessant 
labour for a period of two months, they found that they 
had only put a distance of eight miles between them- 
selves and the ship ! Fortune, however, favoured them 
after this date, and on the 14th of August they succeeded 
in reaching the edge of the pack ice, and were able to 
launch their boats on the water, when good progress was 
made. Favoured by fine weather, they crossed to Novaya 
Zemlya, and skirting along that coast to the south, were 
eventually picked up by a Russian schooner engaged in 
the capture of walruses, which conveyed them to Vardo, 





which they reached on the 3rd September 1874; thence 
home by mail steamer. 

The next expedition that merits our attention is the 
one despatched by our own country in 1875 under 
the command of Captain Nares. Tliis expedition is of 
such recent date, and is so well within the memory of 
the public, that only a brief reference to it is considered 
necessary. It was sent by the route followed by the 
American expedition under Hall, viz., by Smith Sound; 
for it was judged and very rightly, at the time, that in 
consequence of the report brought home by the officers 
of the Polaris, that particular route ofiFered the best 
chances of success, if the attainment of a high noi-thern 
latitude was to be the primary consideration. It may be 
mentioned that the direction to be followed had actually 
been determined before the news reached England of the 
safety and return of the Austro-IIungarian expedition. 

The ships selected for the service were the Alert 
and Discovery, fairly powerful steamers of from 500 
to 600 tons burthen. These vessels had been specially 
strengthened and equipped, and in every way adapted 
for ice navigation. They sailed from Portsmouth 
on the 29th May 1875. The orders received by 
Captain Nares were to the effect that he was to 
proceed up Smith Sound, and after establishing the 
Discovery in secure winter quarters in a high northern 
latitude, but to the southward of the 82nd parallel of 
latitude, as a relief or depot ship, he was to push on in 
the Alert as far as navigation would admit. When 
further progress became impossible, the Alert was also 
to be placed in safe winter quarters, whence sledging 
parties were to be despatched with the object of attain- 
ing the highest northern latitude, and, if found practi- 






ll i <l 


'! < 

cable, to reach the Pole itself. Although Smith Sound 
was found choked with ice, rendering the progress of 
the ships slow and dangerous, Nares, with consummate 
skill and ability, succeeded in carrying his ships in safety 
to latitude 8 1 " 44', where he left the Discovery, under tl ^ 
command of Captain Stephenson, to pass the winter 
a snug harbour, which was called Discovery Bay, at the 
entrance of Lady Franklin Sound. Thence the Alert 
pushed onwards, encountering ice floes thickly packed 
and of a very massive description, but fairly good pro- 
gress was made by adhering, especially when westerly 
winds prevailed, to the stream of water that invari- 
ably existed between the land ice and the main pack. 

On the ist September the Alert reached the latitude 
of 82° 24' ; and this being a higher latitude than had 
ever been attained by a ship before, the colours were 
hoisted " amid general rejoicings " to celebrate ' 
event. But on the same day her further progress „ . 
arrested by a solid pack of heavy ice which defied pene- 
tration, and th», ship was hauled close into the shore, 
and secured behind some large grounded masses of ice, 
which afforded an effective protection from the pressure 
of the pack. In this somewhat precarious position the 
Alei't was doomed to pass the succeeding eleven months ; 
but an all-merciful Providence watched over the good 
little ship, and those on board spent under the circum- 
stances an exceedingly happy and pleasant winter, more 
especially when it is considered that they were passing 
it in a higher northern latitude, viz., 82° 27', than any 
human beings had ever before been known to winter in. 

During the autumn and early spring, sledging parties 
were despatched for the purpose of exploring in the 
immediate neighbourhood of their winter quarters, and 




also with the object of laying out depCts of provisions 
in advance, on the routes that it was intended should 
be taken by the extended sledge parties when they made 
their final start in the spring. It was whilst engaged 
on one of these preliminary sledging parties during the 
autumn, that they had the gratification of passing the 
highest latitude reached by Captain Parry in 1827 d^^" 
ing his memorable attempt to reach the North Pole, 
and they thus had the satisfaction of knowing that they 
had reached a point nearer to the Pole, than it had ever 
before been approached. From this their highest posi- 
tion the land was found to trend away abruptly to the 
west; no land was visible to the north — nothing in 
that direction was to be seen but an illimitable sea of 
snow and ice piled up in large ai . confused masses. 

On the 2nd of April, on a cold but bright morning, 
the main sledging parties started, the temperature at 
the time being minus 30°, which soon afterwards fell 
to 45° below zero. The disposition made by Captain 
Nares was for one party to proceed in a due north direc- 
tion, travelling over the frozen sea, with the object of 
getting as far north as possible ; a second was to explore 
to the westward along what was known as the coast 
of Grinnell Land; while a third sledging party, from 
the Discovery, was directed to examine the north-west 
coast of Greenland. Dogs were not used by any of these 
sledging parties, but the sledges were dragged entirely 
by men. These several parties were travelling for a 
period of about eighty days, during which time the 
north-west coast of Greenland was explored to latitude 
82° 18' and 50° 50' W. longitude. The northern shore 
of Grinnel? Land was thoroughly examined to the 85 th 
meridian of longitude, while a position was attained on 




the frozen sea on the 63rd meridian of longitude, in 
latitude 83° 20' 26", being just within 40c miles of the 
North Pole. In consequence of the serious and severe 
outbreak of scurvy which attacked the travellers, and 
the exceedingly rough nature of the ice over which 
they were compelled to drag their sledges, these several 
parties endured great hardships and sufferings. 

Chiefly owing to the outbreak of scurvy, and partly 
also from the knowledge that further extensive explo- 
ration from his base of operations was impracticable, 
Captain Nares wisely decided upon returning to England, 
which was reached by the two ships in November 1876. 

In the same year that witnessed the departure of the 
English Polar expedition under Nares, Captain Allen 
Young, the companion of M'Clintock in the Fox, an ex- 
perienced and enthusiastic Arctic navigator, sailed from 
England in the Pandora, an old man-of-war of 430 tons 
burthen, fitted with eighty horse-power engines, with 
the object, as he tells us, of visiting — 

" The western coast of Greenland, thence to proceed through 
Baffin Bay, Lancaster Sound, and Barrow Strait towaida the 
Magnetic Pole, and, if practicable, to navigate through the 
north-west passage to the Pacific Ocean in one season." 

It was thought, and very rightly, that by following this 
line of exploration, the Pandora would most likely be 
in the vicinity of King William Island in the summer, 
when, as the land would be bare of snow, a fair prospect 
of finding some records, or perhaps the logs p.nd journals 
of the Erebm and Terror, would be afforded them. 

The scheme was undoubtedly a good one and was 
well thought out and planned, for no steamer, it must 
be remembered, had hitherto endeavoured even to at- 
tempt the north-west passage, and no search had been 




made for documents or papers of Franklin's exjiedition 
except in the early spring, when the country was covered 
with a thick layer of snow. The Pandora was provisioned 
for an absence of eighteen months, for although it was 
not intended to pass a winter, if possible, in the Arctic 
regions, the necessary precautions had to be taken in 
the event of the ship being unfortunately detained ; it 
was intended and hoped that the programme would be 
carried out in one season. Passing through Baffin and 
Melville Bays without any hindrance from the ice, the 
Pandora entered Lancaster Sound and Barrow's Strait, 
and touching at Beechey Island on her way, pushed up 
Peel Strait, only to be stopped, when near the western 
entrance to Bellot Strait, by a solid and unbroken pack 
of heavy ice, which entirely arrested further progress 
to the south. In fact the Pandora was stopped by the 
same barrier of heavy ice, held stationary in the quies- 
cent water caused by the meeting of the two tides, that 
arrested the advance of Franklin in 1847, ^^^ M'Clure 
and Collinson at later dates. 

Every effort that was made to push through was 
futile, and after several attempts had been made, Captain 
Young was reluctantly bound to confess that the accom- 
plishment of the north-west passage by the Pandora, for 
that year at least, we^ out of the question, and as the 
season was far advanced, for the ist of September had 
already arrived, he retraced his steps through Peel Strait, 
though not without great difficulty on account of the 
severe weather experienced and the amount of ice that was 
met, and thence sailed for England. When they turned 
back they were within 140 miles of Point Victory, where 
the Franklin record had been discovered by llobson. 
Thus ended this plucky attempt to achieve the north- 




west passage. Although he failed in his main object, 
Captain Allen Young can lay claim to having been the 
first to navigate a vessel in the icy waters of Peel Strait, 
unless, indeed, as has already been surmised, the ships 
of Franklin had previously sailed over the same route. 
The Pandora arrived at Spithead on the 1 6th of October, 
thus bringing to a conclusion this short but most in- 
teresting and adventurous voyage. 

In 1878 a small party, uiider the leadership of Lieu- 
tenant Frederick Schwatka of the United States army, 
consisting of three white men and an Eskimo, left New 
York and were landed by a whaler near Chesterfield 
Inlet, in Hudson's Bay, with the express object of 
attempting to recover the logs and journals of Franklin's 
expedition, and, if possible, to clear up some of the 
mysteries connected with that sad story. The winter 
was passed in Chesterfield Inlet, at Camp Daly, and on 
the ist of April 1879, the party being augmented by a 
band of fourteen Eskimos, consisting of men, women, 
and children, Schwatka started on his long journey to 
King William Island, the sledges being dragged by forty- 
four dogs. 

On the loth of June, after a long and toilsome 
journey, Cape Herschel, on King William Island, was 
reached, and here a permanent camp was established. 
From this base the western and southern shores were 
carefully examined until the 8th of November, when 
the party started on their return to Camp Daly, which 
was not however reached until the 4th of March, after 
an excessively laborious journey, during which great 
hardships and privations were endured. This expedition 
revealed no new facts regarding the fate of the missing 
expedition, but it corroborated a great deal of the infor- 




mation that had already been obtained by M'Clintock, 
and it brought home a few more relics. From the 
fact of Schwatka having travelled over a route already 
explored, the expedition was barren of any important 
geographical results. 

The next expedition that sailed for the purpose of 
exploration in high northern latitudes was despatched 
by, and under the auspices of, Mr. Gordon Bennett, the 
proprietor of the New York Herald. The vessel selected 
for the service was Allen Young's old ship Pandora, 
which was renamed the Jeannette. She was equipped, 
provisioned, and stored for an absence of three years. 
Although the principal burden of the cost of this ex- 
pedition was borne by Mr. Bennett, the officers and 
crew belonged to the American navy, and were subject 
to the United States Naval Discipline Act, as if the 
ship had been a regular man-of-war. Her comple- 
ment was thirty-two officers and men, and she was com- 
manded by Commander De Long, who, as an officer on 
board the Tigress, when she was engaged in the search 
for the Polaris people, had acquired some knowledge 
and experience of ice navigation. The Jeannette sailed 
from San Francisco on the 8th of July 1879, with the 
expressed object of reaching the North Pole, via Bering's 
Strait. She was last seen on the 3rd of September of 
the same year, steaming towards Wrangel Land. This 
was in accordance with Do Long's instructions, for he 
bad been directed to make his attempt as nearly as 
possible in the longitude of Wrangel Land. 

Much anxiety was evinced when two years elapsed 
and no tidings of the ship had been obtained. Search 
expeditions were organised and despatched by the United 
States Government with special orders to seek diligently 




in the neighbourhood of Herald Island and along the 
Siberian coast, in search of the missing ship, but thaso 
efforts were unfortunately without success. In the 
latter end of the year 1882, telegraphic information 
was received from Kussia that the unfortunate Jeari' 
nette had been crushed by the ice on the 12th of 
June of that year, in latitude 77° N., and longitude 
1 5 5' E.j having been beset in the ice and drifted 
about helplessly at the mercy of the winds and cur- 
rents for twenty two months ; the officers and crew, 
however, it was reported, had succeeded in making good 
their escape from the ship in three boats, which had to 
be dragged over the ice for some considerable distance 
before open water was reached. One of these boats was 
lost sight of in a gale of wind during the month of 
September, and was never afterwards heard of. The 
remainder of the party, having endured great hard- 
ships and sufferings from exposure and a scarcity of 
provisions, eventually succeeded, by the assistance of 
their boats, in reaching the mouth of the Lena, whence 
two of the seamen were despatched to the nearest 
Kussian settlement to procure immed' 'te relief, and also 
to telegraph the news of their safety, and the necessity 
of sending succour as speedily as possible. Unhappily, 
before assistance could reach these poor fellows, Com- 
mander De Long and the majority of the officers and 
crew succumbed to starvation. Mr. Melville and the few 
survivors, after undergoing incredible hardships, were 
eventually rescued and taken to New York. 

The result of this expedition in a geographical point 
of view was unimportant, and hardly compensated for 
the great loss of life and terrible sufferings of those 
engaged in it, to say nothing of the large expenditure 




of money it entailed. The most important service in- 
directly connected with it, from the standpoint of geo- 
graphy, was the complete exploration of Wrangel Land 
by Lieutenant Berry, who was sent out in the Rodgera 
to search for the Jeannette. 

The most signal geographical achievement of recent 
years has, undoubtedly, been the successful accomplish- 
ment of the north-east passage in the steamer Vega 
by Baron Nordenskiold, ably seconded as he was by 
Lieutenant Palander, who was practically the captnin 
of the ship. 

This voyage proved that a well-found steamer, pro- 
perly prepared and ably handled, could without great 
difficulty pass from the Atlantic to the Pacific, along 
the northern coast of Siberia. This was a matter of 
importance, bearing, as it did, on the practicability of 
opening up a great commercial sea route between 
Europe and the mouths of those large and important 
rivers, the Obi, the Yenisei, and the Lena. 

The Vega^ a steamer of 300 tons register, being pro- 
visioned for a couple of years, sailed from Gothen- 
burg on the 4th of July 1878. Proceeding through 
the Norwegian fiords, via Tromso, she passed, without 
encountering much difficulty from ice, through the Jugor 
Strait to the southward of Waygat Island, and so into 
the Kara Sea. Stopping at various places along the 
coast of Siberia, for the purpose of collecting natural 
history specimens, and for general scientific observations. 
Cape Chelyuskin, the most northern promontory of the 
old world, was rounded on the 19th August ; a salute of 
guns was fired, and the ship gaily dressed with flags in 
commemoration of the important event. The position 
of this interesting headland was accumtely determined 





by astronomical observations: its most northern part 
was found to be in latitude 77° 41' N., and longitude 
104° i' E. 

Advancing to the eastward, they encountered much 
drift ice, which, though loose and open, consisted of 
heavier floes than had hitherto been met with since 
the Kara Sea was entered, while their progress was also 
somewhat impeded by fogs, which materially added to 
the difficulties of navigation. During the temporary 
detentions of the ship from these and other causes, 
valuable hauls were made with the dredge, resulting in 
the catch of many unexpected and interesting varieties 
of marine animal types, all, however, essentially peculiar 
to the Arctic regions. 

On the evening of the 2 7ih the Ve(/a was off the 
mouth of the Lena, when, steericg in a north-easterly 
direction, a course was shaped for the most southerly 
of the New Siberian Islands. This group of islands was 
passed on the 30th August, but landing was found to be 
impracticable in consequence of the rotten condition of 
the ice between the ship and the shore, which did not 
admit either of a boat being pushed through, or a man 
walking on its surface. Eastward from these islands 
was a clear open channel of water extending along the 
coast, which enabled the Vega to push on at the rate 
of 120 miles a day for three days. The Bear Islands 
were reached on the 3rd of September, when the channel 
became more and more narrow, being partially blocked 
by ice. Under these circumstances they were compelled 
to keep close in to the shore, where the water was 
unpleasantly shallow. Cape Schelagskoi was reached 
on the morning of the 6th, when their progress was 
much impeded by loose ice. To add to their difficulties 



the hours of daylight were getting shorter, while their 
nights were getting, in a corresponding degree, disagree- 
ably long. 

On the 1 2th, North Cape (so named by Captain Cook) 
was passed, but here their further progress in an 
easterly direction was stopped by the impenetrability 
of the pack, and they experienced great diflficulty in 
boring a passage through the ice towards the coast, 
where, eventually, the ship was anchored under the 
shelter afforded by a large mass of grounded ice. 
Here the Vega remained, unable to proceed, until the 
i8th, when, as the navigable season was far advanced, 
it was determined at all hazards to push on, and en- 
deavour to complete the passage before winter finally 
overtook them. Their progress was, however, slow 
and diflficult ; much ice was encountered, and the water 
was exceedingly shallow, thus necessitating the greatest 
caution on the part of Captain Palander and his officers. 
On the 28th they passed Koljutschin Bay, but were, 
almost immediately afterwards, stopped by ice ; and 
although they kept the ship prepared for any eventu- 
ality at a moment's notice, hoping that a gale of wind or 
some other cause might clear the ice out of their way, 
they were doomed to disappointment, and on the 25th 
November the necessary preparations were made for 
passing the winter. This was terribly provoking, for 
only a few miles lay between them and the open water 
in Bering's Strait, the position of the Vega being about 
a mile from the coast at the north part of the strait. 
Here, however, they were destined to pass the winter, 
during which time much useful and valuable scientific 
work was performed by the different members of the ex- 
pedition. They were in constant, almost daily, communi- 

h I 

< 1 





cation with the natives of the country, the Tchuktches, 
who evinced a very friendly disposition towards them, 
and kept them plentifully supplied with bear and rein- 
deer meat. 

At length, on the i8th of July 1879, the breaking up 
of the ice released tlie Vega. Two days afterwards she 
passed East Cape, and steaming into the waters of the 
Pacific, succeeded in accomplishing one of the greatest 
geographical feats of the age, and one that had baffled 
navigators for three hundred years, the achievement of 
the north-east passage. On the 2nd of September Yoko- 
hama was reached, at which port the successful explorers 
were received with every demonstration of joy by the 
Japanese, and by the representatives of the different 
nations assembled there. Thence, until Stockholm was 
reached on the 24th April 1880, their homeward progress 
was one long triumphal procession, in which nation 
rivalled nation, and port vied with port, in doing honour 
to the bold navigators, who had thus rendered them- 
selves famous by their dauntless courage, their skill, and 
their unbounded energy. Thus ended one of the most 
successful geographical expeditions of the present cen< 
tury: it was happily conceived, and gallantly carried 
out. All honour to the brave Swedes who thus, for 
the first time, carried to a successful issue an under- 
taking that had for three centuries defied the persistent 
efforts of the ablest, the most skilful, and the most 
courageous navigators of our own and other countries. 
All honour to the brave Palander, who so skilfully navi- 
gated the little Vega during her marvellous voyage round 
the north extreme of the old world ; and all honour to 
that remarkable man, and eminent scientist, Professor, 
now Baron, Nordenskiold, to whose subtle and inquiring 








mind is due the conception of the voyage, and to whose 
skill and energy its success was mainly due. 

In the year 1880, Mr. Leigh Smith, who enjoyed, and 
very deservedly, the reputation of being a keen and suc- 
cessful Arctic navigator, and one who had assisted very 
materially in increasing our knowledge of the neighbour- 
hood of Spitzbergen, sailed from England in his steam 
yacht Eira^ with the object of reaching Franz Josef 
Land. The Eira was a vessel of 360 tons burthen, fitted 
with engines of 50 horse-power, and carried a crew, 
all told, of twenty-five men. But little difficulty was 
experienced in reaching the south coast of Franz Josef 
Land, the shores of which Leigh Smith explored to the 
westward for over one hundred miles, and in a northerly 
direction to latitude 80° 20', on about the 40th meridian 
of east longitude. At this, his highest position, land 
was seen some forty miles distant in a north-westerly 
direction. In latitude 80" 5' he discovered a snug, well- 
protected harbour, formed by two islands, with good 
anchorage in from five to seven fathoms, which he 
named Eira Harbour. 

As it was not his intention to pass a winter in the 
Arctic Regions, Mr. Leigh Smith returned to England 
in October, having achieved a very successful amount of 
exploration in a very short time. From the size of the 
icebergs met with, besides other indications, it may be 
assumed that Franz Josef Land is of vast extent, and 
it is not at all improbable that the dimensions of this 
little known land will be found, when explored, to equal 
in size the large continent of Greenland. Many bears, 
walruses, and seals were seen, and a number of each 
were killed by the sportsmen. 

On his return home, the Koyal Geographical Society 




ii ,<i 


presented Mr. Leigh Smith with their Patron's Gold 
Medal, for the important discoveries he had made along 
the south coast of Franz Josef Land, and for his previous 
valuable geographical work along the north-east coast 
of Spitzbergen. The Gold Medal of the Paris Geogra- 
phical Society was also presented to him in recognition 
of the eminent services he had rendered to the science of 

With his appetite only whetted for renewed research 
in Franz Josef Land by his late adventurous voyage 
to its shores, Mr. Leigh Smith determined to prosecute 
further exploration in the same direction. He accord- 
ingly set about refitting his little yacht immediately 
after his return to England. In alluding to Mr. Leigh 
Smith's inten^^ions, in his annual address as President of 
the Royal Geographical Society, delivered on the 23rd 
May 1 88 1, Lord Aberdare thus sums up his character — 

"With the enthusiasm indispensable to an Arctic explorer, 
he combines the attainments of a scientific observer, and the 
skill of an experienced navigator. To these qualifications is 
added that of indomitable perseverance." 

The Eira being in all respects ready, Mr. Leigh Smith 
started from Peterhead on his fifth Arctic voyage on 
the 14th June 1881. The ship carried the same com- 
plement of officers and men as in the preceding year. 
She was provisioned for fifteen months, and carried 
with her materials for constructing a house on shore, 
in the event of being forced to winter. Mr. Leigh 
Smith's intention was to continue his previous explora- 
tion as far as possible in a northerly direction, and thus 
extend the geographical knowledge of Franz Josef Land 
acquired during the past year. After skirting along 




;e on 


the pack ice for some distance, and after making an 
unsuccessful attempt to enter tlie Kara Sea, he suc- 
ceeded in approaching the coast of Franz Josef Land ; 
but unfortunately at this juncture the little Eira was 
so severely crushed by the ice on the 21st August, when 
close to Cape Flora, in latitude 79° 56', that she sank, 
two hours afterwards, in deep water. The loss of their 
vessel was a terrible blow to their prospects. Luckily, 
the short time that intervened prior to her disappear- 
ance, enabled them to save some of the stores and pro- 
visions from the wreck, and these were subsequently 
eked out by walms and bear meat, which they were 
able to obtain in considerable quantities, and which, 
happily, carried them safely through the winter. Every- 
thing else was lost. They passed, under the circum- 
stances, a comparatively comfortable winter in a hut 
built with stones and turf. The only fuel they possessed, 
both for the purposes of cooking and keeping themselves 
warm, was the blubber obtained from the animals killed. 
During the spring they occupied themselves in fitting up 
and equipping the boats, in which it was resolved to en- 
deavour to escape to the southward in the summer ; in 
consequence of the necessity of employing everybody on 
this important work it was impossible to undertake any 
exploration with sledges on an extended scale, which 
would otherwise have been done. 

On the 2ist of June they bade farewell to their 
winter quarters, and, apportioning the party among 
the four boats, started on their adventurous and peril- 
ous voyage to the southward, in much the same 
manner as did that brave old Dutch navigator Willem 
Barents tliree hundred years before, and from a locality 
not very far distant from the scene of their retreat. 




Eventually, after undergoing great hardships and fatigue, 
they succeeded in reaching the coast of Novaya Zemlya 
on the 2nd of August, and on the following day were 
fortunately rescued and brought home in the Hope, a 
vessel that had been specially sent out to search for them 
under the command of Sir Allen Young. Aberdeen was 
reached on the 20th of August, when the news of their 
safety was received with universal feelings of relief, 
allaying, as it did, the alarm and uneasiness that had 
been felt in England regarding their protracted absence. 

The last expedition to which reference will be made 
was the one despatched by the United States Govern- 
ment in 1 88 1 , under the command of Lieutenant Greeley 
of the United States army. It had for its object the 
establishment of a station in a high latitude, at the 
head of Smith Sound, where synchronous meteoro- 
logical, magnetical, and other observations of a like 
description, might be taken in accordance with a pro- 
gramme that had been drawn up by an International 
Polar Conference which was held at Hamburg in 1879. 
Lieutenant Greeley was also directed to carry out explora- 
tion in the direction of the North Pole, as far as was 

The expedition consisted of twenty-five officers and 
men, nearly all of whom were soldiers serving in the 
United States army. The party was taken up Smith 
Sound in the steamer Proteus, which, without ex 
encing much difficulty from the ice, landed ^^ *• 
covery Bay, on the i ith of August. The Pro retui • \ 
to America a week after. Two winters wei\ paase* ■ ay 
the members of the expedition in Discovery Bay, di 1 ing 
which time the interior of Grinnell Land was explored, 
as also the north-west coast of Greenland, when Lieu- 




tenant Beaumont's farthest point in 1876 was passed, 
and a position, reported to be in latitude 83° 24', was 
reached ; they thus had the gratification of reaching 
a higher latitude than had ever before been attained, 
and of extending our knowledge of the coast of Green- 
land to a distance of forty miles in a northerly 

Two expeditions were sent out by the United States 
in 1882 and 1883, to effect the relief of Greeley's party, 
in accordance with previously arranged plans, but they 
unhappily failed in their endeavours to reach them, 
one of the vessels being crushed by the ice at the 
entrance to Smith Sound. These expeditions were both 
commanded by military men ! 

The second winter having passed without relief coming 
to their aid, Greeley decided to work his way south in 
search of that succour which was apparently unable 
to reach him, and without which, he was well aware, 
his party must inevitably perish. Up to this time the 
members of the expedition had enjoyed lemarkably good 
health, and their numbers were still intact. On the 9th 
of August 1883 they quitted Discovery Bay, but failed 
to get further south than Cape Sabine, on the west side 
of Smith Sound, where they decided to encamp in the 
vicinity of the cape. Here a third winter was necessarily 
passed, but in a far different manner to the previous 
ones, for they had no other shelter from the severe in- 
clemency of the weather than an imperfectly constructed 
snow-house, and no other provisions than the little 
that remained from the rations brought with them from 
Discovery Bay, and those found in the depots that had 
been wisely established along the coast by Sir George 
Nares, for his travelling parties in 1876. It was not 




V n 

long before these scanty supplies were exhausted, but, 
for some time, they succeeded in keeping themselves 
alive, by subsisting on their sealskin clothing, and the 
lichens that were gathered from the rocks. Starvation 
and hardship, however, gradually reduced the original 
number of twenty-five, until by the middle of June only 
seven, including Greeley, remained alive. These few were 
happily rescued by the expedition that was despatched 
in 1 884 to search for them, under the command of Cap- 
tain Schley of the United States navy, who providen- 
tially found them, on the 21st of June, when the few 
wretched survivors were literally at death's door. A 
delay in their rescue of two or three days would have 
been fatal to the whole party — not one would then have 
been alive to relate the history of their proceedings and 
the appalling sufferings they had endured. With the 
exception of the exploration of the interior of Grinnell 
Land, and the continuation for some distance of Beau- 
mont's exploration of the north-west coast of Greenland, 
but little was added to our geographical knowledge of 
the Polar i-egions. The terrible experiences of the sur- 
vivors of this expedition fully bear out the necessity 
of scrupulously carrying out those useful and prudent 
measures that have been invariably adopted by English 
navigators when exploring in high latitudes, namely the 
practice of establishing depots of provisions along what 
may possibly be a retreating route. It also illustrates 
the folly of employing inexperienced and ignorant men, 
in conducting an expedition that has for its object the 
succour of those whose lives are absolutely dependent on 
the arrival of relief. 

Geographical exploration in the Arctic regions has 
now been brought down to date, and it shows us what 


a large share Sir John Franklin had in the development 
of our knowledge of those regions. The life of Sir John, 
as it has been the object of these pages to show, was 
essentially one of usefulness and activity. Joining the 
navy at an early age, and being passionately fond of the 
sea and everything appertaining to a seaman's life, he 
quickly acquired the rudiments of his profession, while 
his many manly qualities and earnest application to his 
studies soon attracted the notice, and earned the appro- 
bation, of his superiors. It is not therefore to be won- 
dered at that, under these favourable auspices, he rapidly 
developed into an able, active, and accomplished young 
officer. Not content with the ordinary humdrum routine 
of the naval service, he invariably volunteered, when- 
ever opportunities offered, for duties of a special and 
exceptional nature, and the more arduous and dangerous 
they were the more eagerly were they sought for by him. 
Adventure and geography are so intimately associated 
the one with the other, that it is not surprising to 
find that a young officer of Franklin's energy and 
daring spirit should, in the course of a few yeara, blossom 
into an ardent and practical geographer. The love of 
exploration, especially in unknown regions and over 
untrodden paths, was inherent in him, and was in all 
probability intensified by his service under Flinders, 
and his long and intimate connection with that skilful 
and experienced surveyor. But although the southern 
hemisphere had its charms, it was the north, and the 
fascinating mysteries that surrounded tlie northern apex 
of our globe, that possessed the greatest attractions for 
John Franklin. To the exploration of these little known 
regions he devoted, as we have endeavoured to show, 
much valuable time and energy, and eventually, it may 






truly be said, he laid down his life in his endeavours to 
lift the veil that had for so long concealed one of the 
secrets of that mysterious portion of the world. 

But it is as the discoverer of the north-west passage, 
that problem the solution of which had baffled so many 
able and daring navigators for the past three hundred 
years, and which he sacrificed his life to solve, that his 
name must, and always will be, intimately connected. 
Franklin and the north-west passage being so closely 
associated with each other have become almost synony- 
mous terms, for he waf , assuredly, the first actual dis- 
coverer of that long and diligently sought for channel of 
communication between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans; 
he may also very fitly be regarded as having been, in- 
directly, the means of discovering other channels that may 
very correctly be termed north-west passages, for the dis- 
covery of them by Collinson and M'Clure was practically 
a corollary of the search that was instituted for him. 

To Franklin, therefore, both directly and indirectly, is 
due the discovery and exploration of a vast hitherto un- 
known region, the result of which has been productive 
of much valuable scientific knowledge, more especially in 
its relation to geography. 

The time that elapsed between the year 1845, when 
Arctic exploration, after a long interval of inactivity, 
was again resumed, until the year 1859, when the little 
Fox returned to England with the important announce- 
ment relative to the sad fate of the Erehus and Terror^ 
may reasonably be called the Franklin era ; even before 
that time to as far back as 18 18, there was but little 
accomplished, in the way of exploring those little known 
waters and territories, with which he was not, in some 
way or other, connected or concerned. 




The failure of the Erehvs and Teiror to achieve the 
north-west passage was undoubtedly due to the vast 
accumulation of heavy pu^iC ice, which was found to 
exist across the channel in which the ships were finally 
abandoned, and which was of such a nature as to defy 
penetration. This agglomeration of ice, which had 
originally, in all probability, been formed in that great 
unexplored area to the northward and westward of the 
Parry Island?- is drifted into Melville Sound along the 
north coast of Bank's Land, and is thence carried down 
through M'Clintock Channel until it impinges on the 
shores of King William Island, thus forming an impene- 
trable barrier across the channel. It was, we must infer, 
this insurmountable accumulation of ice that stopped 
Franklin's ships from proceeding to the south-west, and 
it was this same unyielding barrier that successfully defied 
the efforts of M*Clure and Collinson, when endeavouring 
to push forward from the opposite direction. 

Professor Haughton, who is one of our highest 
authorities on tidal movements, and especially those 
in high latitudes, attributes the accumulation of ice at 
this particular spot to the meeting of the Bering's Strait 
tide with that of Davis' Strait, the effect of which is 
the formation of a " line of still water," in which the 
ice remains packed and immovable. The same physical 
features were observed in the neighbourhood of the Bay 
of Mercy, whence M'Clure made ineffectual attempts, 
during two successive years, to enter Melville Sound 
from the west, along the north coast of Bank's Land. 
All efforts to penetrate the ice in this locality, either 
from the east or from the west, have resulted in 
failure — navigation has invariably been stopped by 
impenetrable masses of ice, remaining practically im- 




movable in a region of still water. This meeting of 
two separate and distinct tides serves, in a great mea- 
sure, to illustrate the principal physico-geographieal 
causes of the failure of Parry, Franklin, M'Clure, and 
Collinson, and, at a more recent date, of Allen Young, 
to successfully accomplish the north-west passage in a 
ship. It is extremely improbable that these channels 
are permanently blocked by ice. Indeed there is every 
reason to believe that there are occasional, perhaps 
periodical, seasons when a well-found steamship, under 
the command of a skilful and energetic navigator, might 
succeed in making the passage ; but, except for the honour 
and glory of performing a geographical feat that has 
hitherto defied all efforts that have been made to accom- 
plish it, the results would be practically barren, for the 
channels have already been thoroughly explored by tra- 
vellers on foot, and therefore no further useful geogra- 
phical information could be obtained, by the mere fact 
of a vessel steaming from the Atlantic to the Pacific, or 
vice verm, by Bering's Strait and Baffin Bay. 

But there is still useful work to be performed in 
the Arctic regions, namely, to complete the explora- 
tion of that vast Polar area, comprising upwards of a 
million and a half square miles, which is at present a 
blank space on our charts. In order to carry this out 
to a successful issue, our attention and our energies 
should be directed towards the little known Franz 
Josef Land, for it is ii> this direction that the greatest 
prospect, almost amounting to a certainty, of success 
will be obtained, and for the following reasons. It is 
nearer to inhabited and civilised countries than other 
parts of the Arctic regions, therefore a place to which 
a start can be more easily made, and whence retreat 




from it, in the event of a catastrophe, for the same 
reasons, is practically easy and assured. There is no 
reason to fear that any great difficulty will be experi- 
enced in reaching its shores ; on the contrary, we have 
every reason to infer, from the comparative ease with 
which the little Dutch exploring schooner Willein Barents 
sighted its coast in 1879, and the absence of any real 
difficulty that attended Mr. Leigh Smith's eflForts to 
visit its shores on the two following years, that a good 
steamer, specially designed for ice navigation, would 
easily succeed in reaching Eira Harbour, or even Austria 
Sound, every year. This being assumed, it is evident that 
Franz Josef Land should form the objective, and be 
the direction in which future Arctic exploration should 
be carried out. 

But to ensure useful results it is essential to pass a 
winter in that little known land, so that exploration can 
be carried out by sledge parties during the spring and 
summer. In carrying out this service no danger need 
be apprehended from that terrible scourge scurvy, for 
animal food, in the shape of bears, walruses, and seals, 
is procumble in abundance, and such a measure of success 
would assuredly be secured during one travelling season, 
as would amply compensate for the expense incurred in 
the despatch of an expedition. Let us hope that we 
may soon be in a position to lecord the return of an 
English Arctic expedition crowned with laurels gained 
in the exploration of Franz Josef Land and beyond ! 
For such a consummation let all true geographers 
devoutly pray We shall then feel that the noble and 
gallant Sir John Franklin and his brave shipmates did 
not lay down their lives in vain. 


AOTION between Admiral LInols and 

Commodore Dance, 65. 
Adams, Captain, receives survivors 

from Polaris, 286. 
Adelaide Peninsula reached by Frank- 
lin's people, 231. 
Advance sails under Dr. Kane, 256. 
Adventure under Captain Cook, 27. 
Akaitcho, Indian chief, 125. 
Albatrosses found in large numbers 

by Flinders, 30. 
Alert, sails under Captain Nares, 293; 

winters in highest latitude, 294. 
Amitie sails for Spitzbergen under 

Poole, 83. 
Anderson, Mr., sent by Hudson's Bay 

Co. to discover news of Franklin, 258. 
Antarctic circle crossed by Cook, 27. 
expedition under Ross visits Tas- 
mania, 185. 
Arctic discovery, renewal by England 

of, 78. 
Ocean, Franklin's canoes launched 

on, 126 ; reached by Franklin,'8econd 

land Journey, 16."?. 

regions, knowledge of, in 1845, 196. 

Arctic, wliaier, receives crew of Po- 

la rig, 286. 
Arnold, Dr., recommends master for 

College, Tasmania, 184. 
Assintanee sails in search of Franklin, 

Augustus, Eskimo interpreter with 

Franklin, 161. 
Austin, Captain, commands search 

expedition, 243. 
Australia, early discoveries of, 17 ; east 

coast of, named New 8outh Wales, 

24 ; so named by Flinders, 44. 
Austro-Hungarian expedition, 287. 

BACK, Mr. George, accompanies Frank- 
lin's first land expedition, 100; his 
arduous Journey to Fort Chipewyan, 
12!< ; sets out in search of relief, 134 ; 
his sufferings and wonderful Jour- 
ney, 140 ; promoted to rank of lieu- 
tenant, 140; with Franklin— second 
land journey, 154 ; promoted to com- 
mander, 168 ; his expedition in search 


of the Bosses. 193 ; voyage to Hud- 
son's Bay in 'I error, 194. 

Banks, Sir Joseph, accompanies Cap- 
tain Cook, 23 ; advocates exploration 
of Australia, 39. 

Barents, discovery of Spitzbergen by, 

Barren lands, Franklin's Journey over 
the, 131. 

Barretto Junior, transport attached to 
Franklin, 207. 

Barrington, Daines, instigates Polar 
exploration, 84. 

Barrow, Colonel John, collection of 
portraits kindly placed at disposal 
of author by, viii. ; Fitzjames's let- 
ters to, 204; letter to from Lieu- 
tenant Grimths, 208. 

Sir John, promotes research in 

high latitudes, 78; refers to Frank- 
lin's land Journey, 142; proposes 
plan for further exploration, 200. 

Barrow's Strait, named by Captain 
Parry, 147. 

Bear Lake, exploration of, by Dr. 
Richardson, 157. 

Beaufort, Sir Francis, advocates re- 
newal of Polar research, 200. 

Bedford, Franklin Joins the, 74. 

Beechey Cape, named by Franklin, 164. 

Beechey, Captain, his account of Bu- 
Chan's expedition, 91; in command 
of Blossom, note, 154. 

Beechey Island, Franklin winters at, 
210 ; visited by Fox, 261. 

Belcher, Sir Edward, in command of 
search expedition, 253 ; orders ships 
to be abandoned, 264. 

Bell, Mr. James, midshipman, killed 
at Copenhagen, 13. 

Bellerophon, employed blockading 
Brest, 72 ; at Trafalgar, 72. 

Bellot, Lieutenant, French navy, 
drowned, note, 261. 

Bellot Strait, discovered by Kennedy, 
261 ; Fox winters at entrance of, 265 ; 
Pandora stopped by the ice in, 297. 

Bells, peal of, at Spilsby, 3. 

Bennett, Mr. Gordon, equips Jean- 
nette, 299. 



Bering's Strait, Captain CkK>l{ passes 

through, 30, 
Berry, Lieutenant, U.S.N., explores 

Wrangel Land, 3Ul. 
Bessels, Emil, accompanies Hall in 

Polaris, 281. 
Bird, Captain, commands Investigator, 

Birds, numerous, seen in Magdalena 

Bay, 96. 
Bismarck, Cape, named by the Ger- 
mans, 281. 
Bloody Fall, so named by Uenrne, 111. 
Blossom, ordered to Bering's Strait,154 ; 

boat of, sent to meet Franklin, 164. 
Boats, discovery of one of Franklin's, 

230,',272 ; special, for Franklin's land 

Journey, 155. 
Boat voyage of Captain Flinders, Gl. 
Booth, Sir Felix, Victory fitted out at 

expense of, 177. 
Boothia Felix, Franklin sails along 

coast of, 215. 
Botany Bay, named by Cook, 24. 
Bottle-papers, use of, 271. 
Bremen, German expedition sails from, 

Bridgewater, sails with Porpoise, 54 ; 

heartless conduct of captain of, 55. 
Briggs, Kear-Admiral, hoists flag in 

Jiainbow, 180. 
Browne, Lieutenant, explores Peel 

Strait, 244; reaches position near 

Erebus and Terror, 247. 
Buchan, David, Commander, appointed 

to command expedition to North 

Pole, 81 ; his former services, 89 ; his 

instructions, 91; remembered by 

Franklin, 126. 
Burnett, Lieutenant, sent to Hobart 

Town as surveyor, 183. 

Cairns, strange absence of, 248. 

Cannibalism, story of supposed, 137. 

Carcass, selected for Polar exploration, 
84 ; critical situation of, 87. 

Carlton House reached by Franklin , 1 20. 

Carstens sails on a voyage of disco- 
very, 20. 

Cart used by Parry in exploring, 149. 

Castor and Pollux river reached by 
Deas and Simpson, 199. 

Cato, sails with Porpoise, 54; wreck 
of, 55. 

Chelyuskin, Cape, rounded by the Vega, 

Chipewyan, Fort, Franklin's Journey 
to. 120. 

Clarke,Captain, appointed toDiscoverjf, 
29; commands expedition on Cook's 
death, 81; attempts the north-east 
passage, 32. 

Cloven CUIT, Buchan's expedition off, 98. 

Cold, intense, on Franklin's land Jour- 

ney, 120 ; experienced by Back, 123 ; 
severe, on M'Clintock's sledging 
Journey, 266. 

College, franklin attempts to found a, 
at Hobart Town, 184. 

CoUinson, Captain, in command of En- 
terprise, 240. 

Cook, Captain James, first voyage of 
discovery, 22 ; sails on second voyage, 
27 ; reaches 71st degree of south lati- 
tude, 28 ; honours conferred on, 29 ; 
sails on his third voyage, 29; his 
lamentable death, 31. 

Cooke, Captain Jolin, in Bellerophon, 
72 ; killed at Trafalgar, 73. 

Copenhagen, battle of, 12. 

Coppermine river, exploration of, by 
Hearne,110; reached by Franklin,122. 

Cracroft, Miss, kind assistance of, viii. ; 
parents of, 5 ; accompanies Sir John 
and Lady Franklin to Tasmania, 183. 

Cresswell, Lieutenant,' reports disco- 
very of north-west passage, 250. 

Croker Mountains sailed over by 
Parry, 147. 

Crosley, Mr., astronomer with Flin- 
ders, 40. 

Crowe, Mr. G. W,, Consul at Patras, 
his letter to Franklin. 181. 

Crown Prince £udolff Land, named by 
Payer, 291. 

Crozier, Captain, in command of Terror 
in Antarctic expedition, 186; in 
Terror with Franklin, 201; aban- 
dons Erebus and Terror, 225 ; signs 
the last record, 227 ; is cognisant of 
the existence of provisions at Fuiy 
beach, 238; silver belonging to, 
found, 269; his notations on last 
record, 271. 

Cumberland, the, relieves party on 
Wreck reef, 62 ; seized by the French 
at Mauritius, 63. 

Cumberland House, reached by Frank- 
lin, 117 ; Franklin meets Dr. Kichanl- 
son at, 168. 

Current, southerly, experienced by 
Pan-y, 176; by Resolute, 265; by 
Uansa, 280 ; by Polaris, 285. 

Daly, Camp, formed by Schwatka, in 

Chesterfield Inlet, 298. 
Dampier, William, his voyage round 

the world, 21 ; in the Roebuck, 22. 
Dance, Commodore Nathaniel, sails 

from Canton. 64 ; engages LinoiF, 65 ; 

honours conferred on, 70. 
Dannet, Captain, communicates with 

Franklin's ships, 209. 
Dease, Mr., attached to Franklin's 

second land expedition, 157 ; disco- 
veries made by, 199. 
Death of three of Franklin's men at 

Beechey Island, 213. 



De Haven, Lieutenant, U.S.N., com- 
niands search expedition, 243. 

Do Long, Commander, IJ.S.N., in com- 
mand of Jeannette, 20!). 

Des Vaux, Mr. Cliarles V.. aecompanies 
Graham Oore, 217 ; Fitzjainea's de- 
Bcription of, 218. 

Discovery, selected for Cwik's expedi- 
tion, 29; sails witli Nares, under 
Captain Stephenson, 2»3. 

Discoveiy Bay readied by Greeley, 308. 

Distilling apparatus invented by Dr. 
Irving, 85. 

Dog sledges, Franklin starts with, 110. 

Dolphin and Union Strait discovered 
and named, 100. 

Dorothea, selected for Arctic service, 
90 ; severely nipped by the ice, 101 ; 
critical position of, 103. 

Drift, of Resolute in the pack, 255 ; of 
Fox, 202 ; of crew of llaima on the 
Ice, 280 ; of crew of Polaris, 285 ; of 
Tegclthoff, 289. 

Drummond, Mr., accompanies Frank- 
lin as naturalist, 154 ; his indefatiga- 
bility, 108. 

Duyjlien, Dutch ship, discovers Aus- 
tralia, 19. 

East Indiamkn, squadron of, under 
Dance, 04. 

Eendra(jt, Dutch ship, on west coast of 
Australia, 19. 

Eira, her voyage to Franz Josef Land, 
305 ; sails from I'eterhead, 300. 

KIsinore visited by British squadron, 11. 

Eiideavour, voyage of, 23 ; disaster to, 
25 ; name of boat iu Parry's Polar 
expedition, 170. 

Enterprise, commissioned by Sir James 
Ross, 230 ; sent out under command 
of Colliuson, 240 ; name of boat in 
Parry's l'»)lar expedition, 170. 

Enterprise, Fort, constructed by Frank- 
lin, 122 ; party leaves, 124. 

Erebus, uncier Iloss in the Antarcti(% 
180 ; selected for Franklin's expedi- 
tion, 201 ; frozen in the pack, 215 ; 
abandoned, 225. 

Eskimos, miissatTC of, by Indians, 111 ; 
met by Franklin, 162; information 
obtained from, regarding Franklin, 
232, 206, 268. 

Expedition of Sir John Franklin sails 
from England, 203. 

Fairiiavrn, Spitzbergen, Buchan ar- 
rives at, no. 

Fairholme, Lieut., letter from,207; silver 
belonging to.found bjrM'Clintock,200. 

Felix sails under Sir John Boss, 253. 

Fire-hole, explanation of. noU, 211. 

Fisher, Mr., Astronomer to Buchan, 03. 

Fitzjames, Commander, appointed to 

Enbus, 201 ; extracts from letters 
of, 204 ; his admiration for Franklin, 
205 ; signs the lost record, 227 ; nota- 
tions on record made by, 271. 

FlitK unfurled by Franklin on the Polar 
Sfii, 158. 

Fli«ely, Cape, named by Payer, 292. 

Flinders, Matthew, commands InveS' 
tiifator, 14 ; his love of geography, 
35; exploration in Australia, 35; 
sails in IinvHtiiintor, 40; his charts 
criticised by French captain, 48 ; 
sitilH from Australia in Porpoise, 53 ; 
wrecked in Porpoise, 65 ; his won- 
derful lK>at voyage, Oo ; takes passage 
in Cumberland, 02 ; made prisoner 
by the French, 03; his death, 63; 
remembered by Franklin, 126. 

Forks, silver, found, belonging to 
Franklin, 257. 

Forsyth, Commander, in command of 
Prince Albert, 243. 

Forth, Franklin apixiinted first lieu- 
tenant of, 77. 

Fowler, Lieutenant, in command of 
Porpoise, 54 ; embarks in JMla, 63 ; 
apiK)inted U) Karl Cauuien, 04. 

Fox, fitted out by Lady Franklin, 261 ; 
her drift in the pack, 202 ; winters in 
Port Kennedy, 266; sails for Eng- 
land, 273. 

Franklin, family of, settled at Spil8by,3. 

Henrietta, sister of John, 6. 

Isabella, married Mr. Cracmft, 6. 

James, major in Indian anny, 5. 

John, his birth, 5 ; love of the 

sea, 8 ; makes a voyage to Lislxtn, ; 
enters the navy, lo ; at Copenhagen, 
12 ; Joins Jnvesti'jator, 14 ; sails with 
Flinders, 43 ; discoveries named 
after, 40; discharged to Porpoise, 
WA ; wrecked in PorjMtise, 65 ; reaches 
Canton, appointetl to Earl Camden, 
64 ; aHsistA at the defeat of Linois, 
6.t ; appointed to lidlerophon, 71 ; at 
the buttle of Trafalgar, 73 ; Joins the 
Bedford, 74; is wounded at the attack 
on New Orleans, 76 ; first lieutenant 
of the Forth, 77 ; apixiinted second 
in command of North Polar cxirmU- 
tion, 81 ; his first land journey, 109 ; 
narrowly es(>a|>es shipwreck in Hud- 
son's Strait, 114 ; nearly loses his life 
by drowning, 118; his remarkalde 
Journey, 129; narrow escape from 
drowning, 132; dreadful sufferings 
cx|>erienced by, 130; promoted to 
commander, 140 ; arrival in England 
and promotion to rank of captain, 
141 ; his marriage, 144 ; appointed 
to second land expedition, 154 ; hears 
of the death of his wife, 155; his 
Journey on tlie Polar Ocean, 162* 
return to England, houours conferreu 



on, 171 ; marries Miu Jane Griffin, 
172 ; ndvocatus seonh fur north-west 
passnge by Bering's Strnit, 173 ; in 
coininanJ of Uainbow, 178 ; honours 
conferred on, for services in Greece, 
180; appointed Governor of Van 
Dienicn's Land, 183 ; dissensions 
witli olUcials, 180; relieved hy Sir 
Eardley Wilniot, 100; apiHiinted to 
conininnd Arctic expedition, 2i)*i ; 
sails from England, 203 ; his last 
offlciul despatch, 2(W ; his death, 220 ; 
anxiety in England resi)ecting, 23r> ; 
first traces of, discovered, 244 ; monu- 
ment to, at Hecchey Island, 203; sil- 
ver pieces behmging to, found, 20'.); 
statues erected to memory of, 274- 
276 ; promoted rearadniinil, 277. 

Franklin, I^ady, offers reward for news 
of lost exjHjdition, 239 ; equips I'rince 
Albert, 243; sends out Jmbel, 2.01; 
protests against the payment of re- 
ward to Dr. Rne, 2.19; Fox fitted 
out at expense of, 200; Uoyal Geo- 
graphii-nl medal awarded to, 275 ; 
death of, 270. 

'— Mrs., death of, i:>i>. 

• Thomas Adams, death of, 74. 

— — VVilUngham, brother of .li.lm, 4. 

Franz Josef Land, discovery of, by the 
Austrinns, 288 ; visited by Leigli 
Smith, 3O.'>-307. 

runenil of Sir John Franklin, 221. 

Fiirneauz. Captain commands Adven- 
ture in t'«X)K'8 second voyage, 27. 

Funj, in Parry's second voyage, 150; 
wreck of, 174. 

Fury beach, nanu'd by Parry, 174 ; 
winter passed at, by the Rosses, 178. 

GklIi, Rev. J. P., sent to Tasmania 
for College, 184 ; marries daugliter 
of 8ir John Fr.mklin note, 184. 

German exnedition to east coast of 
Greenland, 280. 

Cennania sails from Brenien, 280. 

(ilaciers, icebergs formed from, 00. 

Goldner, his rascality, note, 24;'). 

Goodsir, Dr., appointed naturalist to 
Franklin's last expedition, 202. 

Gore, Lieutenant Graham, explores 
King^Villianl Island, 217; Fitzjames' 
description of, 218 ; his death, 224. 

Graves of Franklin's men, discovery of, 
233, 245. 

Graves, Rear- Admiral, hoists his flag 
on board Polnphemur, 11 ; invested 
with the bath, 13. 

Great Barrier Reef, examiuatiuu of, 
by Flinders, 51. 

Great Fish River, survivors from Ere- 
bttn and Terror start for the, 22.'^i. 

Greeley, Lieutenant, U.S.A., his ex- 
pedition to Smith Sound, 308. 

"Green-stockings," poem written by 

Miss Porden, 14.5. 
Griffin, Jane, married to Sir John 

Franklin, 172. 
Griffin Point, named by Franklin, 1C3. 
Griffiths Island, ships winter at, 244. 
Griffiths, Lieutenant, writes to Mr. 

Barrow, 207. 
Grinnell, Mr. Henry, equips search 

exiiedition, 243; fits out schooner 

Advance, 2M. 
Grinnell Land, explored by Nares, 295 ; 

exploration of, by Greeley, 308. 
Griper, commanded by Lieutenant 

Luidon, 1819, 108; sails from Eng- 
land, 140. 

Haumnotun, Lord, First Lord of the 
Admiralty, 200. 

Hall, Captain, his various expttditions, 

Ilans, Eskimo, sails with Hall in 
J'olartM 281. 

JJaiua sails from Bremen, 280. 

Hartog, Dirk, his discoveries in Aus- 
tralia, 19. 

Haughtou, Professor, theory of, re- 
garding ice-ban'iers, 313. 

Ilawai discovered by Captain Cook, 31. 

Hayes, Dr., his voyage to Smitli Sound, 

Hearnc, Mr. , his discoveries, 110 ; ac- 
curacy of his observations, 126. 

Uecla, sails under Parry to discover 
north-west passage, 140 ; I'arry ap- 
pointed to, in second expedition, 
l.'SO; in Parry's third voyage, 174; 
conmianded by Parry in 1827, 176. 

Hecia and Fury Strait visited by Hall, 

Uegemann, Captain, in command of 
Ilatusa, 280 

Hepburn, John, with Franklin in first 
land expedition, 109 ; in Prince 
Albert, note, 251. 

Herald under Captain Kellett, 237. 

Ilerschel, Cape, record left at, by Lieu- 
tenant Gore, 218 ; reached by sur- 
vivors from krebuM and Terror, 230 ; 
skeletrtn found near, 231-270. 

Hicks, Lieut., point named after, 24. 

Hobart Puclm at Louth Grammar- 
school, 8. 

Holmit Town, arrival of Franklin at, 
183; regret felt by people of, on 
Franklin's departure, 191 ; votes sum 
of money for relief of Franklin, 101. 

Hobson, Lieutenant, sails in Fox with 
M'(.'l!ntock, 201 ; starts on sledge 
Journey, 2C7. 

Hoo<l, Mr, Robert, appointed to Frank- 
lin s flrst hind exi)ctiition, 109; river 
named after, 120; illness of, 134; 
murder of, 137. 




Hope bringB home Leigh Smith aud 
crew of Eira, 808. 

llopexoeU gails from Oravesend, 81. 

Hornby, Mr. Fredericic, sextant of, 
found, 273. 

Uotbani, Admiral, death of, 180 ; his 
letter to Franklin, 181. 

llowe. Cape, named by Cook. 24. 

Hudson's Bay,Back'8 expedition to,104. 

Hudson's Bay Companv, arrangements 
witlt, for l^'ranklin 8 second land 
Journey, 165; instructions sent to, 
relative to search for Franklin, 236 ; 
search expedition equipped at ex- 
pense of, 243; Mr. Auuersou sent 
out by, 258. 

Hudson, Henry, his dnring voyage, 81. 

Hunter, Captain, appointed Governor 
of New South Wales, 33. 

Hurd, Cape, reached by Uoss's travel- 
ling parties, 237. 

lOE, Captain Cook stopped by, in Ant- 
arctic, 28; in Greenland and Spits- 
bergen seas, 79 ; heavy, encountered 
by I'hipps, 86 ; Bucliun's ships beset 
in, OS; belt of impenetrable, off 
Spitzbergen, 106; Franklin's vessels 
caught in the, 215 ; barriers of, how 
formed, 313. 

Icebergs, formed from glaciers, 00 ; 
danger from the formation of, 06. 

Indians, kindness and attention of, 130. 

Inglefleid, Commander, sails in Isabel, 

Inman, Professor, with Captain Flin- 
ders, 40. 

Instrmnents, scientific, supplied to 
Franklin, 112. 

Intrepid in Austin's expedition, 240. 

Jnvesti/fator commissioned for service 
in Australia, 14 ; sails under Flinders, 
43 ; her unseaworthy condition, 44 ; 
meets French ship Le Ueographe, 48 ; 
her rotten state, 51 ; condemned 
at Sydney, 52; Captain Binl ap- 
pointed to command of, 236 ; sent 
out under M'CIure, 240 ; successful 
voyage of, 240. 

Irving, Dr., his distilling apparatus, 85. 

•^— Lieutenant, discovers record left 
bv Graham Gore, 227. 

ImM sails under Inglefleid, 252. 

Isabella, Koss rescued by the, 178. 

Isbjom, cruise of the, 287. 

Jeannette, fitted out by Gordon Ben- 
nett, 200 ; news received of her loss, 

Kanh, Dr. Elisha, in command of 

Advance, 255. 
Kangaroos first seen, 26. 
Karakakooa Bay, Cook arrives at, 81. 

Kav, Mr., marries Mrs. Franklin's 
sister, 145 ; with Franklin in Jiam- 
bon', 170; in charge of Observatory 
at llobart Town, 187. 

Kellett, Captain, sent in Herald to 
Bering's Strait, 237 ; appointed to 
Resolute, 253 ; winters at Dealy 
Island, 264. 

Kendall. Mr., forms one of Franklin's 
second land expedition, 154. 

Kennedy, Mr., in command of Prince 
Albert, 251. 

Kennedy, Port, Fox winters at, 266. 

Kingsmill, Kear-Admiral, ou board 
Polyphemus, 10. 

King William Island, seen by Frank- 
lin's people, 217 ; one of Franklin's 
ships supposed to be wrecked on, 
23-2; explored by M'Clintock and 
Ilobson, 267 ; record found on, 270 ; 
visited by Hall, 282. 

Koldewey, Captain, his expedition to 
east coast of Greenland, 280. 

Kotzebue Inlet, Blossom ordered to, 
154 ; Plover directed to winter in, 240. 

Latitude, reward offered for reaching 
a high, 80; Alert reaches highest, 
204 ; highest reached by Nares's ex- 
pedition, 296. 

Lawford, John, appointed captain of 
Polyphemus, 10; group of islands 
named after, 126. 

jA'(>win,Cape,i';i8C(>vered and named,20. 

Legislative Council, admission of pub- 
lic to, in Van Diemen's Land, 183. 

Lena river, Ve(ja passes mouth of, 302. 

Leopold, Port, Ross winters at, 237; 
visited by M'Clintock in Fox, 264. 

Liddon, Lieutenant, second in com- 
mand to Parry, 1819, 108-146. 

Linois, Admiral, engagement with 
Dance, 65. 

Lockyer, Nicholas, Captain, commands 
boat attack at New Urieans, 76. 

Loring, Captain, of Bellerophon, 71. 

Loutli Grammar-school, 6 ; seal of, 7. 

Lumsdaine, George, captain of Poly- 
phemus, 10. 

Lutwidge, Captain, second in command 
with Phipps, 84 ; promoted to cap- 
tain, 88. 

Lyon, Captain, in command of Griper, 

Israel, astronomer with Phipps, 85. 

Maokenzib, Mr., his Journey to the 
Polar Sea, 110 ; accui-acy of his sur- 
vey, 158. 

Mackenzie River, exploration of, by 
Franklin, 157 ; ascended by Lieu- 
tenant Pullen, 244. 

M'Clintock, Sir Leopold, information 
collected by, 231; his Journey to 



Cape Conlnian, 238; reaches Milvillo 
Islniul, 247 ; in coniniand uf Intrepid, 
'iri.'i; exi)lorc8 Melville and Prince 
Patrick iHlanclH, 2.^4; Bails in F»x, 
2(il ; his sledRing Journeys, 2G&-2U7 ; 
results of his voyage in Fox, 274 ; 
rewartls conferred on, 27ri. 

M'Cluru,8irlU)l)ert, in coniinnndof /n- 
vexti'jator, 24(1 ; accomplishes nurtli- 
west passage, 248. 

M'Donald, Dr., medal found l)elong- 
im to, 2(16 ; silver found, 2U<.>. 

Magdalena Bay, survey of, by Buchan, 

Magnetic attraction uf needle observed 
by Parry, 147. 

Magnetic Pole, discovery of, by Ross, 

Markhouse, Mr., stops leak in En- 
deavour, 20. 

Mani'iesas Islands, discovery of, 18. 

Mary, yacht accompanies Sir John 
KoBS, 243. 

Massacre uf Eskimos by Indians, 111. 

• of Franklin's party by Eskimos 

frustrated, 162; by Indians pre- 
vented, 165. 

Mecham, Lieutenant, discovers Russell 
Island, 247. 

Melville Bay, Franklin's ships last seen 
in, 209. 

Memorial to Ix)rd Palmerston, 259. 

Mendafla, discoveries of, in southern 
hemisphere, 18. 

Money, Rowland, Captain, wounded 
at New Orleans, 70. 

Montreal Island, relics of Franklin 
found at, 231 ; examined by M'Clin- 
tock, 269. 

'Monument to Franklin on Beechey 
Island, 263. 

Moore, Captain, sent to Bering's Strait 
In Plover, 237. 

Moose Deer Island, (Yanklin winters 
at, 141. 

Moreton sails with Hall in Polaris, 2sl. 

Murchison, Sir Roderick, advocates 
renewal of Polar researcli, 200. 

Musquitoes, sufferings endured from 
attacks of, 121 ; Franklin's party per- 
secuted by, 125, 163. 

Musk oxen, plentiful supply of, 125. 

Nabes, Captain, selected to command 

Arctic expedition, 293. 
Natives of Australia, conflict with, 61. 
Nelson, Lord, at Copenhagen, 12 ; 

midshipman in Phipps's expedition, 

New Caledonia, discovery of, 28. 
New Hebrides, named by Captain Cook, 

New Orleans, Franklin woundetl at the 

attack on, 76. 

New South Wiiles, formation of colony 
of, 32. 

New Zealand, Cook arrives at, 23. 

NordenskiOld, Professor, voyages of, 
to Spitzl)ergen, 27!>; sails in Veija, 
301 ; achieves nortli-east passage, 304. 

Norfolk surveying under Bass and 
Flinders, 38. 

Norfolk Island discovered by (Jook, 28. 

Northeast passage, Cook attempts to 
discover the, 2t*; accomplished by 
Nordenskiuld, 304 

North pole, expedition to, determined 
on, 70 ; reward offered for reacbitig, 
80; Buehiiii commands expedition 
to, 81; Hudson's voyage to, 81; 
Phipps's exi>edition to, 84 ; Buchan's 
attempt to reach the, 02; Parry's 
plan to reach the, 17.'i. 

Northumbi^rland Sound, Belcher win- 
ters in, 254. 

North-west passage, expedition to dis- 
cover, 79; Parry sent to search fi>r, 
107 ; Parry's belief in the existence 
of, 153; interest in discovery of. re- 
vived, 195; Franklin appointed to 
command expedition in search of, 
200; discovery of, ascertained by 
Uraliam Gore, 218. 

Novaya Zemlya,7V.'/<7//»o/l»e8et off, 287. 

Nuyts' Land, visiteil Ity Flinders, 45. 

NuytA, Peter, discovers south coast of 
Australia, 20. 

Oglr Point reached by M'Clintock, 

Ommaney, Captain, second in com- 
mand to Austin, 243; discovers 
traces of Franklin, 244. 

Ormc, Dr., head - master of Louth 
grammar-school, 6. 

OslMim, Slierard, alludes to Franklin's 
treatment in Van Diemen's Land, 
191 ; remarks by, on the death of 
Franklin. 220 ; his sledge journey to 
Prince of Wales's Land, 247 ; in com- 
mand of Pioneer, 253. 

Oxford, degree of D.C.L. of, conferred 
on Franklin, 172. 

Pack, Dorothea and Trent take refuge 
in the, 102 ; Fox beset in the, 261. 

Palander, Lieutenant, commands the 
V'eija, 301. 

Pandora under Allen Young, 296. 

Paris Geographical Society's medal 
awarded to Franklin, 171. 

Parry, Sir Edward, witli Ross in 1818, 
80 ; appointed to command expedi- 
tion, 1819, 107 ; sails from England, 
146; obtains reward for reaching 
110th meridian, 148; promoted to 
commander, 150 ; commands expedi- 
tion to Hudson's Bay, 151 ; promo^C'd 



to cnptnin, 153 ; his belief in a nnrth- 
wcHt pasBago, 163 ; third expedition 
in Hciirch of n paHsnKe, 174 ; expedi- 
tion towards Nortli Pole, 17tl; advo- 
cates renewal of Polar research, 2(X». 

Payer.Julius, sailfl with Weypreclit,2a7. 

Feabody, Mr., assists in equipment of 
Advance, 2M. 

Pearce, Mr. Stephen, portraits painted 
by, viil. 

Peel Strait, Franklin enters, 214 ; Allen 
YonnR attempts to pass throuffh, 207. 

Pendulum supplied to Captain Buchan, 

Pendulum Islands, Oennania winters 
at the, 281. 

Penny, Captain, assists in search for 
Franklin, 243 ; discovera graves on 
Beechey iHland, 24.1. 

Petermann Land, named liy Payer, 290. 

Fetropaulowski visited by Captain 
Clerke, H2. 

Pfoilfer river, graves of white men 
near the, 233. 

Phillip, Captiiin Arthur, first governor 
of New South WaieH, 32. 

Phillip, Port, discovery and examina- 
tion of, 48. 

Phipps, Captain, his expedition to the 
Nortii Pole, 84. 

r/ioenix, brings home crew of Inveiiti- 
(jator,'Hi>\, conveys officers and crews 
of Belcher's expedition to England, 

Pioneer, one of the ships in Austin's 
exiKiditinn, 240. 

Plover, sent to Bering's Strait, 237 ; 
f)rdered to winter in Kotzehue Sound, 

Polar research, renewal of, advocatetl, 

Polaris sails from New York under 
Hall, 281. 

Polyphemug, Franklin joins the, 1(»; 
sails for the Baltic, 11 ; at the battle 
of Covtenhagen, 12. 

Poole, Jonas, his voyages, 83. 

Porden, Miss Eleanor, Franklin's intro- 
duction to, 127 ; islands named after, 
127 ; is married to Captain Franklin, 
144 ; her poems, 144. 

Pontoise, sails from Sydney, 54 ; wreck 
of, 55. 

Portage round Trout Fulls, 110. 

Poverty Bay, named by Captain C(K)k, 

Prince Albert, sails with Forsyth, 243 ; 
returns to England with news of 
Franklin, 248. 

Prince of Waleg, sails from Gravesend, 
113 ; enters Hudson's Strait, 114 ; 
whaler, the last ship to communi- 
cate with the FYanklin expedition, 

Prince Regent Inlet, named by Captain 

I'arry, 147. 
Protcun sent up with Greeley, 308. 
Providence Fort, Franklin's arrival at, 

121 ; reached by Franklin after tlrst 

land journey, 139. 
Provisions sent to meet Franklin's 

party, 2'M. 
PuUen, Captain, winters at Beechey 

Island, 254. 
Lieutenant, boat Journey made by, 

Pulo Aor, Dance's engagement with 

Linois off, 65. 

QUIROS, his discoveries, 18. 

Jtacehome, selected for Polar explora- 
tion, 84 ; critical situation of, 87. 

Rae, Dr., infonuntion obtained by, 231 ; 
accompanies Sir .Inhn Richardson, 
237 ; explores neighbourhood of Cop- 
pennine River, 244 ; obtains articles 
from the Eskimos belonging to 
Franklin, 257 ; is paid rewanl fur 
ascertaining fate of Franklin, 258. 

Rainbow, Franklin apiM)inted to com- 
mand, 178. 

Ilavenaeraifj, whaler, rescues men from 
Poldrin, 280. 

Rawsun, Lieutenant Wyatt, Hornby's 
sextant given to, 273. 

Record, left by Graham Gore at Cope 
Herschel, 218 ; found by Lieutenant 
Irving, 227 ; Jnve»ti(/ator'n, found at 
Melville Island, 254 ; discovered by 
Hobson, 270. 

Reindeer at Spitzbergen, 00; large 
herds seen near Fort Enterprise, 122. 

Jteliance, arrival of, at Sydney, 34 ; 
returns to England, 39; boat built 
by Franklin, 101. 

Relics of Franklin found at Montreal 
iHlands, 231 ; brought home by Rae, 
267 ; found by M'Clintock, 2(J<1. 

Rensselaer Bay, Kane winters at, 2.57. 

Resolute, under Captain Austin, 240; 
winters at Dealy Island, 254 ; her 
wonderful drift in tlie ice, 256. 

Remdvtion, in Cook's second voyage, 
27 ; Cook's ship in third voyage, 20. 

Results of voyage of Fox, 274. 

Rewards, olTcred for discovery in high 
latitudes, 80 ; offered by Franklin for 
giuue, 132 ; Parry obtains the, for 
crossing the 110th meridian, 148 ; 
offered for information relative to 
Franklin, 230 ; for assistance to Sir 
.1. tVanklin, 239; paid to M'Clure 
for discovery of nortli-wcst passage, 
249; paid to Dr. Rae, 2.58; paid to 
M'Clintock, 274. 

Richardson, Sir John, associated with 
Franklin, 109; nearly loses his life. 








133 ; Ills account of the mnrtlnr fif 
llouti, i::7 ; ULt'oiiipnnius Fniiikliii uii 
second land jourru-y, l.'i4 ; his suc- 
cessful Journey, 1U5; his culoKistic 
renuirks on Franklin, 160; sent in 
Benrcli of Franklin, •2;}" ; returns to 
Enp;lnnd, <>.'i'.). 

Rocky MountHins, Franklin's first view 
of, ir.o. 

Jtod'iers sent in scarclt of Jcannettc, 

Holla sails for Wreck reef, 62 ; reaches 
Canton, 64. 

Koss, James, discovers North Magnetic 
Tote, 148-177 ; with Parry in North 
Polo expedition, 170 ; in \ icton/ with 
Hir John Koss, 177 ; commands Ant- 
arctic expedition, 185; selected to 
command search expedition, 2'M ; 
his unexpected return to England, 

Sir .John, commands Arctic expe- 
dition, 1818, HO ; names the ('roker 
-Mountains, 147 ; sails in the y'ivton/, 
177 ; in schooner Felix, 243. 

SAniNK, Captain, advocates renewal of 

Polar research, 2(K). 
Sail, Uirumnied, used by Captain Cook, 

Sandwich, Lord, visits Arctic ships, 8.'>. 
Santa Cruz islands, discovery of, 18. 
Savage islands reached by FYanklin, 

r->i,hley. Captain, rescues Greeley, 310. 
ScluHil estalilished by Franklin in win- 
ter quarters, 161. 
Schwatka, Lieutenant, information ob- 
tained by, 231 ; his Journey to Kinj; 

William Island, 2!»8. 
Scientific society founded by F'ranklin 

at Ilobart Town, 185. 
Scoresby, Captain, his argtmients in 

favour of I'oiar research, 7!) ; viaitM 

cast coast of Orecnland, 83. 
Screw steamers first used in the ice, 

Scurvy, outbreak of, in Inventij/ntor, 

52 ; Franklin's party predisposed to, 

125; Nares's expedition attacked by, 

Seals, large number seen by Flinders, 

Search exiteditions, despatch of, 243. 
iSejtaration of survivors from Franklin's 

sliips, 220. 
Sextant belonging to Mr. Hornby 

given to Lieutenant llawson, 273. 
Silver plate found belonging to Jt'nnk- 

lin expedition, 268. 
Simpson, Mr., survey of north coast of 

America bj', 190. 
Skeleton found near Cape Herschel, 

231, 270. 

Slave Lake, Franklin reaches, ir>6. 

Sledge parties, leave Kri'lnignml Terror, 
220; organised by CapUdn Austin, 
245; leave the Fox, 26.'> ; leave the 
Tenetthoff, 201. 

.Sndth, .Mr. Uigh, expeditions U) Spitz- 
bergen, 279; first voyage to Frans 
Josef Land, 305 ; honours omferrcd 
on, .S06; second voyage to Franz 
Josef Land, 'A)l. 

Smith Sound, Kane's exploration of, 
256; voyage of Hayes t<t, 278. 

Snodgrass, (Vdonel, relieved by Sir 
John F'ranklin, 18;i. 

.Society, scientific, founded by Franklin 
in Ilobart Town, 185. 

Solnndcr, Dr., accompanies CiKik as 
bottmist, 23. 

Solomon Islands, discovery of, 18. 

Sophie reaches a high latitude, 279. 

Spilsby, situation of, 1 ; l>irthplace of 
Franklin, 5 ; statue of Franklin ut, 

Spitzbergen, discovery of, by Barents, 
82; visited by Hudson, 82; descrip- 
tion by Phipps of coast of, 80; in- 
hospit^ible appearance of, Oo; Nor- 
denskiold's expeditions to, 270. 

Spoons, silver, found, ))elonging to 
Franklin's expedition, 257. 

Stindey, Dean, adds note to epitaph 
on Franklin's monimient, 277. 

Lord, refers to discovery of north- 
west passage, 240. 

Owen, mate in Jiainboip, 179. 

Starvation, deaths due to, in FYanklin'a 
first land Journey, 138. 

Starvation Cove, remains of white men 
found at, 233. 

Statue of Franklin, 276. 

Steam first used in the Arctic Regions, 

Stephenson, Captain, winters in Dis- 
covery Bay, 294. 

Stewart, Captain, assists in search for 
Franklin, -243. 

Swans, black, first seen, 22. 

Swedes, expeditions to Spitzbergen by, 

Talbot brings home crews of Belcher's 

ships, 25.'i. 
Tasraan, discoveries of, 20. 
Taylor, Mr., midshipman, is drowned, 

Teijetthoff, sails from Bremerhaven, 

287 ; almndoncd in the ice, 202. 
Temperature, low, exiK-rienced by 

Back, 1-23. 
Tennyson, Alfred, educated at Louth 

grammar-school, 8 ; writes epitaph 

on Franklin's monument, 277. 
Terror, voyoge to Hudson's Boy under 

Back, 186-195 ; witli Ross in the Ant 



urctic, 186; selected for Franklin'H 
cxi)e<lition, 2U1 ; frozen in the pack, 
215 ; almndoned, 225. 

Thistle, Mr., master of Investigator, 
dn -vned, 46. 

Hinimnied sail, nso of, 26. 

Tvjre»g rescues survivors fronii'otam, 

Tom Thumb, equipment of the, 3.'); 
perilous {Kmition uf the, :tO. 

Torres, his discoveries, 18. 

Truces of Frasiklin llrst discovered, 24 ». 

Triifalgnr, Itattle of, 73. 

Trent, Franklin apptjinted to com- 
mand of, IH); springs a leak, 9.3; leak 
discovered and stopped, 90 ; B4|ueezed 
in the pack, 101 ; seriously damaged 
by the Ice, 104. 

TH])e de roche used as food by Frank- 
lin's party, LSI. 

Trout Falls, portage n-und, 119. 

Turnagaiii, Point, reached by Frank- 
lin, 128. 

Tyson, Captain, his drift on the floe, 

Unitkd Statkh, assist In search for 
Franklin, 243 ; IlfKoiute presented by 
flovernmcnt of, 255 ; Greeley sent out 
by, 308. 

United Statex i^nils under command of 
Hayes, 278. 

Van DiKMKN'a Land, discovery of, 

20 ; ItYanklin appoiited Governor of, 

Vcfia, sails from Gothenburg, 301 ; ac- 

ciimplislK's north-cnst passage, ;{04. 
Veils, the, poem by Miss Pordcn, 144. 
Venus, transit of, obser^'cd by Cook, 2.'J. 
Victorif, saiU under Sir John Koss, 

177 ; fvoxen up and abandoned, 178. 
Victory point, reached Ijy surv'vors of 

KrelAig and Terror, 226 ; boai found 

Ufty miles from, 2;J(» ; record found 

near, 270. 
Vhimlng, WUllam dc, visits Australia, 

Voyageurs, Canadian, In Franklin's 

land expedition, 121. 

Wager River, Back ord'^ed to pro- 

cee<l to the, 194. 
Waiht^r, Cnpc, Franklin directs his 

course towards, tu. 

Walker, Dr., j(»ins Fox as naturalist 

and surgeon, 201. 
Waterloo Place, statue of Franklin 

erected in, 275. 
Wellington Channel discovered by 

Parry, 148; ascended by Franklin's 

KJiips, 20!). 
Wentzell, Mr., Joins Franklin, 121. 
Wcstall, William, painter, with Min- 
ders, 40; original sketches of, in 

Colonial Institute, 60. 
WcHtminster Abbey, statue of Frank- 
lin in, 27(1. 
Weyprecht, Captain, in command of 

Te;ietthof, 287. 
Whaleflsh Islands reached by Erebus 

and Terror. 207. 
Whalers, favourable report of the Ice 

by, 79. 
Whaling captains, rewards offered to, 

for exploration, 80. 
White wood, Mr, master's mate of In- 

vrxti'jntor, wounded by the natives, 

Willoughby Cliapel, tombs in, at Spils- 

by, 2. 
Wilmot, Sir Eardloy, succeeds Franklin 

as governor, 11)0. 
Winter, Franklin spends, at Great Bear 

Lake, 160. 
Winter IIar))our reacheil by Parry. 148. 
Winter Lake visited by Franklin, 121. 
W(>lb\8ton Lam I discovered, 166. 
WolstvUiholnie >«>und, Xorth Star win 

ters in, 239. 
Wrangel Land, Jeannctte bcch olf, 299; 

explored by Lieutenant Berry, 301. 
Wreck, of brig, sighted by Rainbow, 

179; of Eira, 307; of Erebi'n an<l 

Terror seen by the Eskimos, 209; oj 

1 1 ansa, 280 ; of Porpoise, 56. 

VKtLoW Knifk River reached by 
Franklin, 121. 

York Ixiats, description of, 116. 

York Factory, FYanklin anivesiit. 1819, 
116; Journey by editor to N.rway 
House from, note, 1 17 , Franklin 
reaches, after flrst land expedition, 

Yf.ung, Allen, sails hi Fox with M'Clin- 
tock, 206 ; starts on his sledging 
journey, 207 ; his attempt to accom- 
plish the north-west passage in Pan- 
dora. 296. 

NicholuH, sights New Zealand. 23. 


32 Flebt Street, London. 





WiovXb'Q 6teat Explorers 
anb le^plorationa 


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Society ; 

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